Twenty minutes of observation later -- including trudging through the knee-deep snow to get closer to the bank -- I knew I'd added the American Dipper to my life list. This small bird is a solitary individual that flies low along rivers and waterways before alighting and examining the water. It can "fly" underwater, much like penguins, as it hunts for insects and other sustenance. When on rocks or riverbanks, it will "dip" up and down quickly as it watches the river. The stubby tail, round body, pale legs, and white eyelids are very easily identifiable, as is the distinctive behavior.
It always amazes me to discover new birds in old spaces. You never know when a new species will appear, whether it is in your backyard, along a favorite walk, or in a neighborhood park. As long as we stay observant, we will always be able to see the great avian diversity around us.