Education and Outreach / American Dipper Children's Book

Dee Dee the Fryingpan River Dipper

The American Dipper is the only North American aquatic songbird, and was chosen as Roaring Fork Conservancy’s mascot because it is considered an indicator species for healthy mountain streams. In 2016, RFC launched a youth project to tell the story of these little gray birds through the a combination of science, art and literature.

Under the guidance of RFC educator's, a group of 4th grade students from Basalt Elementary School went into the field to discover and study the American Dipper. Over the course of a month, the students watched American Dippers build their nests and thrive on the banks of the beautiful Fryingpan River in Basalt, Colorado. Students quietly immersed themselves in the Dipper's world and watched them hunt, fly, and of course, DIP!

After their careful observations and sketches, the students drew their final illustrations for this book. RFC educators Megan Dean, Liza Mitchell, Christina Medved and Heather Lewin wrote the story and contributed illustrations of American Dippers. With help from Jillian Tattersall and the team at Attic Studio Publishing House in New York, we are proud to offer this professional children's book to the world!


The original, illustrated story of Dee Dee PLUS:
American Dipper facts and photos, and
a special 5-page "My River Journal" for further exploration!


Children and adults of all ages will enjoy and learn from this book though it is primary intended for elementary aged students.

Dee Dee the Fryingpan River Dipper
in person at The River Center in Basalt.



Authors, illustrators and photographers are from
the Roaring Fork Valley!

Authors & Illustrators

Click here to see sample pages

American Dipper Facts

  • The American Dipper is an indicator of healthy streams and rivers, making it the perfect mascot for Roaring Fork Conservacy.
  • Dippers are the only North American aquatic songbird.
  • These birds like fast-moving, unpolluted water found in the mountains, coasts, and deserts of the American West.
  • They dive from rock perches or directly from the air into moving water to find and eat aquatic insects.

Contact Us

Roaring Fork Conservancy

PHONE: (970) 927-1290

PO Box 3349
Basalt, CO 81621

22800 Two Rivers Road
Basalt, CO 81621

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