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american dipper news for 2004

In 2004 dipper nests on Whitewood Creek and Spearfish Creek were monitored for nest success and number of birds fledged.

During the 2004 nesting season, there were 31 known nesting attempts on Spearfish Creek (Lovett, 2004). As many as 38 young were observed in nests classified as a first brood and 21 fledglings were observed. A total of 11 young were observed in nests classified as a second brood with three fledglings found. The highest count for adults observed totaled approximately 49. On Spearfish Creek 38% of nesting attempts were successful. Twenty-four dippers are known to have fledged from 23 nest sites (39 nesting attempts).

In 2004 nesting success on Whitewood Creek was higher than nesting success on Spearfish Creek. On Whitewood Creek 69% of nesting attempts were successful. Twenty dippers are known to have fledged from 8 nest sites (13 nesting attempts). Four additional nests were found in the remote canyon between Deadwood and Whitewood. These four nests were not monitored.

A dipper that was banded on Whitewood Creek as a juvenile in July of 2003 was found dead in Deadwood on April 5, 2004. This dipper had a normal bill when banded but the bill was deformed when recovered in 2004. The carcass was sent to the USGS National Wildlife Health Center for diagnosis. It was discovered that selenium levels in the kidney and liver were in the toxic range, at 21.2 ppm wet weight in the kidney and 34.5 ppm wet weight in the liver.

A dipper nest was found at Hisega on Rapid Creek but the nest was later abandoned.

Deformed bill of American Dipper found dead
in Deadwood near Whitewood Creek.

 

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