Usually they inhabit the banks of fast-moving hillside rivers, though some nest near shallow lakes. They have dense feathers with a down undercoat, an advanced nictitating eye membrane and a larger preen gland for waterproofing their plumage.
These adaptations let them submerge and walk on the bottom to feed on insect larvae. They are about 8 inches in size with a short tail and wings and resemble the wrens, though there is no clear relationship.
Cinclus is the only genus in the family Cinclidae. The dipper, named for its bobbing or dipping movements, is also known as ousel, ouzel, or water ouzel.
ITIS - Cinclus (http://www.itis.usda.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=178535)