Protected species of the month - White-throated Dipper

The White-throated Dipper has been chosen for the protected species in January - a fairly common wintering bird in Latvia near fast and non-freezing rivers, but a very rare nesting bird.


The White-throated Dipper Cinclus cinclus is up to 20 cm long, round-shaped bird with a short tail and a pointed beak. It could be easily confused with a snow-capped river stone, as the chest is white and the rest of the body is dark brown. According to the name of the bird, the White-throated Dipper has adapted to life near the water - it feeds on small aquatic animals (insect larvae, small fish, crayfish), which are caught diving in the water, walking on the riverbed and digging the ground. Fast, rocky rivers are the typical habitat of the White-throated Dipper.

The White-throated Dipper is found on the Eurasian continent, in mountainous regions along rivers in rocky areas. Birds nesting in Scandinavia come to Latvia in winter, but in suitable climatic conditions White-throated Dippers can also choose to nest in Latvia. The White-throated Dipper nests in hard-to-reach places in crevices in rocks or masonry, under bridges, as well as enjoys nesting in specially placed nestboxes.

The species is included in the list of specially protected species, as the White-throated Dipper is a rare nester in Latvia, and it inhabits parts of rivers that have have not been affected by humans and are rapid. IUCN data show that the global population of water thrushes is declining.

The Project “Threatened species in Latvia: improved knowledge, capacity, data and awareness” LIFE19 GIE/LV/000857 LIFE FOR SPECIES is implemented with the financial support of the LIFE Programme of the European Union and Latvian State Regional Development Agency. This publication reflects only authors’ view. Neither CINEA (European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency) nor European Commission are responsible of any use that may be made, or the information contained therein.

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