basic information

Brown Dipper

Cinclus pallasii (Temminck, 1820)

Бурая оляпка | Қоңыр сушылқара

Almaty, Butakovka
© Askar Isabekov


The Brown Dipper is a water-living medium-sized bird of the specific dippers image, has dense constitution, short wings and short tail; slightly larger than Eurasian Dipper. Its plumage color is plain dark-brownish rusty tinged. The wings and tail are darker. The bill is brownish-black, legs are grey-blue, eyes are brown. Male and female are similar. The seasonal differences of plumage are absent. Juveniles are spotted, dark-grey with the white spots on the tips. Primaries are grey-brown with light edges, more expressive on the secondaries. In Kazakhstan there is the subspecies Cinclus pallasii tenuirostris Bonaparte, is distinguished by the well expressed rusty-brown tinge of coloring. Weight 65-76 grams, wing 89-105, tail 56-69 мм.


The Brown Dipper breeds in Tien Shan from Talasskiy Alatau up to Kungey Alatau. Very rare it goes down to Almaty where observed 28 October – 14 December 2004. One bird recorded on Orta-Tentek river (Dzhungarskiy Alatau) 20 July 2002.


The Brown Dipper is a rare resident. It inhabits the rapid mountain rivers with the rocks and stones shores, prefers larger rivers in the forest belt at 1500-3200 m. In winter it occurs in the same habitat, not leaves the mountains. The pairs breed more than 100 m, apart one from another. Nest is built on the ledge or in the crack of rock, behind the waterfalls and more rarely between the stones on 0.3-2 m from the water. Nest is built from the moss with some grass and rootlets and is lined with dry leaves. Both parents build it roughly for two weeks. Some nests used over several years. Clutches of 3-5 eggs appear between late March and mid June and is probably incubated by female only. Both parents feed juveniles, which fledge mid May – July. A week after fledging, the pair builds new nests and continues to feed fledglings. Double brooded and repeat breeding is common. Autumn movements start in late October – November.


Cinclus pallasii tenuirostris (Bonaparte, 1850)

    Description. Distinguished by the well expressed rusty-brown tinge of coloring.


Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005. "Птицы Казахстана" том 3. Алма-Ата, "Наука" КазССР. 1970. Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999. А.Ф.Ковшарь "Певчие птицы". Алма-Ата, "Кайнар", 1983.



Cinclus pallasii tenuirostris
(Bonaparte, 1850)


Cinclus pallasii korejewi
(Zarudny, 1909)
Cinclus pallasii kargasiensis
(Koelz, 1939)

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