Identification: They are very distinctive birds like big fat Wrens, dark brown, almost black but with a huge white 'baby's bib' covering their breast. In juvenile birds the pale front is obscured by scaly grey blotches. Look carefully and you'll see their white eyelids as they blink at regular intervals.
Habitat: Breeds and winters on fast flowing upland streams.
Distribution: A reasonably common resident of fast-flowing, rocky streams in upland areas. They occur mainly in Scotland, northern England, Wales and south-west England. The Scandinavian Black-bellied race C.c.cinclus occurs in most winters between October-April, mainly on the east coast.
A common bird in most parts of Europe where there are fast-flowing rivers ie. in Scandinavia and most of the hilly or mountainous areas further south.
Population: 7 000-21 000 breeding pairs in Britain west of a line from Flambotough head to Portland Bill. 1 750-5 000 breeding pairs across Ireland.
150-230,000 breeding pairs