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The Brown Dipper: a short film

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Uploaded on Jul 24, 2010

The Brown Dipper is an aquatic songbird found in the mountains of southern and central Asia. This species of Dipper is rarely seen but can be found at medium to high altitudes, along fast-flowing mountain streams.

We filmed this Brown Dipper in the raging Jallandhri Garh torrent above the idyllic mountain town of Harsil in Uttarakhand, in a tributary of the river Ganga. These are the first sequences ever filmed on High Definition of this rare and exciting bird that is rarely seen from close quarters, despite being greatly sought out by avid bird-watchers and naturalists.

The Brown Dipper's ability to dive and swim underwater is unique among passerines (song birds). It utilizes this to feed on bethnic organisms living in the riverbed.

The ability of the Dipper to swim through rapids of the fastest kind is unique among Himalayan birds. No other bird can swim in such cold or such rapidly moving waters. The bird's feathers have a oily coat that prevent them letting in moisture, while at the same time, acting as a layer of insulation from the cold.

A lone pair often hunts a large stretch of stream, aggressively fighting off territorial intrusions from other Dippers from up or down-stream. It does not mind other bird species hunting within its territorial waters, and seems to co-exist with the White-capped Redstart, another permanent fixture along fast-flowing mountain torrents in the Himalaya! The Redstart has a lovely set of song sequences, especially during the breeding season. Here, the song of the Redstart has been simply drowned out by the raging torrent of the Jallandhri Garh.

This clip of professionally-shot broadcast stock footage belongs to the archive of Wilderness Films India Ltd., and has been filmed on either Digital Betacam or 1080i HD. Please write to us for licensing queries at wfi@vsnl.com and admin@wildfilmsindia.com

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