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a genus of birds of the order Passeriformes. The body is 17–20 cm long and weighs 50–80 g. The wings are short, and the plumage is dense. The nostrils and ear openings have skin coverings. The birds are able to dive, swim, and walk underwater for about 15 seconds.
There are five species of Cinclus, distributed in Europe, northwestern Africa, Asia (north of the Himalayas), and the western regions of North and South America. Two species are found in the USSR. The dipper, or water ouzel (Cinclus cinclus), is brown with white markings. It is encountered in the Northwest European USSR, the Urals, the Caucasus, Southern Siberia, and the mountains of Middle Asia. Pallas’ dipper (C. pallasii), which has uniformly brown coloration, inhabits the Soviet Far East, the Kuril Islands, Sakhalin, and the mountains of Middle Asia.
The Cinclus live along mountain rivers and, less frequently, spring-fed rivers of the plains. Their globular nests, made from moss and stems, are built near water on cliffs or in ravines. A clutch contains three to seven white eggs, which are incubated by the female for approximately 16 days. The young leave the nest in 19 to 24 days. The Cinclus feed on aquatic insects, mollusks, and small fish.