The bird sources are consistent: the dipper is a bird of clear mountain streams where it dives and scours creek bottoms for comestibles. Yet, with the approach of winter, this unusual songbird often moves downstream to lower elevations — presumably to avoid freezing creeks. Around here, that means that dippers spread out along the shore of Kootenay Lake each fall. This behaviour seems to have been baked into them: Whether or not the creek freezes, when the weather cools, many start to hunt along the lakeshore.
This is one of a number of dippers seen hunting along the lakeshore in recent weeks. It first dived from the rock at the picture bottom. It disturbed the water on the left, and then began to surface, upper right, having captured something in its bill.
Arising out of the depths, it clutches what is probably a caddisfly larva in its bill.
It does not swallow it in the water, but takes it to a rock in the stream.
And there downs its prize.