The song of the American Dipper

I like the idea of sharing my recordings with a quick turnaround. This soundscape was recorded yesterday, capturing the Salmon River in the foothills of Mt. Hood near Brightwood, OR, at a place called Wildwood Recreation Site. The Salmon River has the distinction of being a wild and scenic river in Oregon, un-dammed from its mountain headwaters to the Pacific Ocean via the Sandy and Lower Columbia River.

Why did they name this 550 acre area Wildwood Recreation Site? I don’t know. A lot of places and businesses and even a friend’s book have been named Wildwood over the years. All I turned up was one laconic citation on Wikipedia: “Wildwood is an unincorporated community in Clackamas County, Oregon, United States.” Also, a 1990 guidebook lists a nearby tavern of the same name. As far as a community goes, it seems to have a tenuous claim to the name, outside of the BLM applying it to this “site”. Such a cold word, site.

Anyway, let’s discuss charismatic wildlife here. This recording features the American Dipper, a beautiful, uniformly grey bird with white eyelids and an unsurpassed skill in navigating river currents. Not long ago we called it a Water Ouzel.

It’s a bellwether of water quality, favoring only the coldest and clearest waters. Consequently, it is not a bird you are likely to see on developed waterways in valleys. Its song is complex and burbling. I was thrilled to capture it, and am happy to share it with you. Chances are fair we will return to Wildwood on a soundwalk!

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Soundscape presents relaxing and renewing five minute field recordings captured in nature by Chad Crouch (using the recordist pseudonym Field Sound: Premium subscribers get access to the complete recordings (10-90 minutes long)!
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Chad Crouch