The Singer in the Stream

Katherine Hocker & Mary Willson, Illustrations by Katherine Hocker

Help kids discover American Dippers with this fascinating new book about John Muir's favorite bird.

Why did the songbird dive into the rapids? Because she's a dipper! American dippers are small songbirds that live near and in fast-moving mountain streams. They nest within a few feet of water and feed on aquatic insects, small fish, and fish eggs. Dippers range throughout the American West, from Alaska to Mexico.

Dippers are one of the great undiscovered secrets of wildlife viewing. They are easy to find if you know where to look, and very easy to identify. Once found, they're fascinating to watch as they dive boldly into rapids and pools, or perch, bobbing jauntily, on streamside terrain.

This handsome picture book, written and illustrated by two dipper researchers, introduces readers to these charming birds and their watery world. Here you will discover what dippers eat and how they get it, where and how they nest, where they go in winter, and much more.

The Singer in the Stream introduces kids, parents and teachers to these fascinating songbirds:

  • A rhyming story takes readers through a year in the lives of dippers.
  • Full-color illustrations and photos give an intimate view of the birds as they forage, defend their territory, build nests, and raise chicks.
  • A Parents and Teachers section at the book's end gives more information about dipper natural history—and about how biologists study dippers.

“Bird and stream are inseparable, songful and wild, gentle and strong, the bird ever in danger in the midst of the stream's mad whirlpools, yet seemingly immortal. And so might go on, writing words, words; but to what purpose? Go see him and love him, and through him as through a window look into nature's warm heart.”
— John Muir

“Among all the mountain birds, none has cheered me so much in my lonely wanderings—none so unfailingly.”
— John Muir

32 pages, 8-1/2" x 11", full-color cover, 12 color illustrations, 10 color photographs, 31 black & white drawings, 2014. Published by Yosemite Conservancy.



The Singer in the Stream Katherine Hocker & Mary Willson, Illustrations by Katherine Hocker inside image

Now reissued as a hardcover picture book.


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