The Dipper Bird

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 7
The water ouzel, or dipper bird, is an interesting bird about the size of a robin and has bluish-gray, waterproof feathers. It lives mostly in the Sierra Mountains of California, the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington, and the mountains of British Columbia. You might get a glimpse of one along a swiftly flowing stream with rapids and waterfalls. However, it will be well hidden and difficult to find.
The life of the dipper bird is spent near these mountain streams. It is a cheerful bird, full of happy sounds but with no distinctive song. It flies rapidly over its watery homeland, following the stream's course and never taking a shortcut between bends, as most birds do. A waterfall is its greatest delight, as it flies through the spray or darts behind it.
Of course, it cannot spend all its time this way. Like all birds it must keep busy finding food, which comes almost entirely from the bottom of the stream, usually in shallow areas, but sometimes in deeper water. It eats all kinds of water bugs and other insects and especially likes mosquito larvae and periwinkles. It catches these larvae by walking along the bottom of the stream with its body completely covered by water. Gripping the rock bottom with its strong feet and working its wings like oars, it can walk through strong currents safely.
Finished with underwater food gathering, it will suddenly pop out of the water, fly to a rock or log and burst into song again. It nods and curtsies, bobbing up and down as it sings. This is where it gets its name of dipper bird.
No canyon is too dark or isolated for this bird, just so there is a waterfall nearby. In springtime, the male and female together build their nest by a waterfall. The nest is made of moss, woven into an oven-like shape. It is usually placed on the ledge of a rock where spray from the water keeps it moist. Ferns grow up and surround it, concealing it from enemies.
Just as God watches over the lowly sparrow and not one falls to the ground without His knowing it (Matt. 10:2929Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. (Matthew 10:29)), so He watches over this cheerful dipper bird. He provides for all its needs and gives it the ability to carry on its unusual way of life.
And we are assured of His care over us too. In a more special way, our Savior has said to those who love Him, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper" (Heb. 13:5-65Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 6So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. (Hebrews 13:5‑6)). Do you know Him as your Savior, and do you thank Him for His loving care, watching over you every moment of your life?