There is a narrow window of opportunity to be able to see dipper chicks leaning out of their nest and being fed. When slightly younger, they stay inside; when slightly older they have fledged and are gone.
When I looked through my pictures of this event, something struck me as incongruous. The pictures of all the chicks showed them as apparently larger than the adults doing the feeding. How can this be?
I immediately thought about just-fledged juvenile eagles. They look bigger than the adults attending them only because the juvenile feathers are unworn and fluffed up. Then it dawned on me that in addition to the fluffy chick feathers, the dipper adult’s feathers were matted down from it having just swum underwater in the creek to retrieve the meal. So, the disparity in size makes sense, but it does look a bit odd.
Four dipper chicks lean out of their nest to beg for food.