Dipper Watching

Hocker-dipper-sketch-2 I've been assisting with research on American Dippers in the Juneau area for eight years now, and have co-authored a couple of books about them. I just never get tired of watching these great little birds–they're endlessly entertaining! Went out a couple of days ago to check on a nest site and found a pair busy establishing the next generation. Like most dippers, they've chosen fantastic real estate: the nest is tucked among some boulders behind a small but beautiful waterfall. Didn't have my sketchbook with me, so this drawing is from memory.

For more information about our books about American Dippers, see my books page.


I’m a science illustrator by training (1997, University of California, Santa Cruz Science Communication graduate program, which is now part of California State University, Monterey Bay), and although I’ve found that my inclinations lie more at the observing, sketching, and teaching end of the spectrum, I do still enjoy creating more “polished” works. Here are a few examples.

AK folk fest poster 09
The 2009 Alaska Folk Festival poster: Varied Thrush (Ixoreus naevius), Winter Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes), Townsend’s Warbler (Dendroica townsendi), Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis), and Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri)

Hocker catskull

Cat skull morphology and skull relationship to face (Felis domesticus), colored pencil and acrylic on drafting film.


American Dipper fledglings (Cinclus mexicanus), water-soluble pastels.


Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)