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"Ding" Darling Wildlife Society Newsletter
October 20, 2016
In This Issue
One More Green Step

Philanthropic Coordinator Carrie Alexander shows off some of our new eco-friendly serving ware.
Plastic is the scourge of Mother Earth. We kicked the plastic bottle right out of the Refuge several years ago. Recently "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society took another major step toward green by converting to Eco Products brand plates, drinking ware, napkins, and utensils. Made from completely renewable resources - corn, sugarcane, and plant starch - all of the products break down in fewer than 180 days in a composting facility. Plastic products, on the other hand, never truly break down. DDWS and the Refuge plan to use these products for various events throughout the year. To find out more about going green, Click HERE

Now that mail-in ballots are starting to arrive, it's time to think what's best for Mother Earth as you vote this year. See below in this issue on two important issues for Lee County Florida voters and all Florida resident voters.   
'Ding' Days: TODAY at the Refuge

To celebrate this year's Migratory Bird Treaty Centennial, today, starting at 9:15 a.m., the Refuge will be showing five bird films as part of its "Ding" Darling Days International Birders Film Festival. Each film spotlights a different continent's birdlife: North America, South America, Asia & Australia, Africa, and Europe. 
Click HERE to read more.
Another Successful "Ding" Days
Family Fun Day

"Ding" Darling Days kicked off with a bang on Sunday, October 16, for Family Fun Day. Everyone enjoyed all the free activities -
live bird presentations, bird games, archery, butterfly house, face painting, hot dogs, tram tours, and more. Here are some scenes from the day.

Watch out! A surprise shot taken by Al Hoffacker of a Yellow-crowned Night Heron & a raccoon.
New Biology Intern

Welcome to Anne Mauro, who recently joined the Refuge biology team. Originally from Whitehouse, Ohio, Anne graduated from Ohio State University in December 2015 with a degree in forestry and wildlife management. She last worked as a biological science technician with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Lake Oahe in South Dakota, monitoring least tern and piping plover nests. She hopes to study the nesting success of wading birds at "Ding" Darling.

"I like the rich diversity of birds here and all the unique rare birds that Sanibel attracts from time to time, such as the Great White Pelican and American Flamingo," said Anne, who will stay at the Refuge through June 2017. DDWS provides living stipends and other benefits for about a dozen interns each year. The Refuge supports interns and resident volunteers with free housing. 
Jay Norwood "Ding" Darling at work as a political cartoonist
Come, Celebrate Our Namesake's Birthday!

Friday, October 21, celebrates the 140th birthday of Jay N. "Ding" Darling, the man responsible for our Refuge and for the Federal Duck Stamp program. A Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist of the early 1900's, Darling championed conservation issues both through his cartoons and as head of the U.S. Biological Survey, precursor to today's Fish & Wildlife Service. We will celebrate his birthday, as part of this week's "Ding" Darling Days, with the free showing of the film America's Darling, starting at 11 a.m., followed by free birthday cake in the Visitor & Education Center Auditorium. To learn more, read this article in the Santiva Chronicle.
Joseph Hautman designed the 2016-2017 Federal Duck Stamp featuring Trumpeter Swans. See the original of this winning painting on exhibit Saturday. Special thanks to DDWS board member, Don Wildman, for loaning this painting as well as the other previous winning paintings of Joseph Hautman.  Wildman collects all the winning federal duck stamp artwork of the Hautman brothers
This Saturday: Conservation Art Day

Five-time Federal Duck Stamp winner Joseph Hautman from Plymouth, Minnesota, headlines the eighth annual free Conservation Art Day at the Refuge, on Saturday, October 22, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Florida Junior Duck Stamp winner Megan Zou will also be on hand. 

The event will bring the week-long "Ding" Darling Days 2016 to a close with the duck stamp artist presentations, artist demonstrations, nature art, cartooning, photography, and READ MORE
John Moran photographed "Look Into the Eye" at Florida's Silver Glen Springs.


In conjunction with the visiting Smithsonian Water/Ways exhibit at "Ding" Darling Visitor & Education Center October 28 through December 7, 2016, "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society will be hosting a free "Soak-It-In Speaker Series" on select Fridays at 1 p.m. The featured speaker on November 18, water-quality advocate John Moran, will present a photographic lecture titled "Our Water, Our Future."

"We warmly welcome John, whose proactive work for Florida water quality makes him a perfect fit for Water/Ways," said READ MORE 
Photographer and water-quality advocate John Moran

Water/Ways kicks off Friday, October 28, with widely acclaimed author Ellen Prager, who will present an ocean trivia program for all ages.  Click HERE for more information 
on Water/Ways and a full calendar of events.

Lee County Voters:

Lee County voters. Vote YES to continue the Conservation 20/20 program that preserves our water quality and supplies, precious lands, and recreational opportunities. A vote for 20/20 does NOT mean an increase in taxes. The 20/20 referendum
Click above to watch a short video on why we should keep conserving Lee County. Please share this message with other Lee County voters.
has no number; look for it at the bottom of your ballot. And remember to check YES for continued quality of life here in Lee County.

Photo by Keep Conserving Lee

Don't Let Utilities Block the Sun

State of Florida voters: Amendment 1 in the November election is almost fully funded by the utilities, who raised an incredible $16 million to place it on the ballot and reach voters. 
Amendment 1 is a deceptively worded amendment that creates barriers for future solar power competition and slows solar use for the future. 
A diverse army of citizen groups strongly opposes the amendment. Read more about the deceptive ballot HERE
Vote NO on 1 in NOvember! 



John & Beth Newland 
Jim & Patty Sprankle  
Wayne & Linda Boyd


Monofilament Busters

The Refuge's team of Monofilament Busters report their cleanup findings for their 2015-2016 season. The team debuted its Clear Your Gear campaign during "Ding" Darling Days.
Monofilament fishing line endangers the lives of birds, sea turtles, and other wildlife. Please make sure to remove it from tree limbs and dispose of it properly.

Here's what the team pulled out of local waters this season:
164 Lures
138 Bobbers
129 TKO Shrimp, jigs, etc.
320 Lead Weights
24 Non-Lead Weights
47 Hooks

Spotting scopes - one item on our 2016 Wish List - help students gain a deeper appreciation of wildlife by observing behaviors close up.

Membership donations and annual gifts are the lifeblood of the Society. Our Wish List offers unique giving opportunities to help us enhance the education and conservation efforts here at the Refuge. All gifts are tax deductible.  
For fun, meaningful ways to recognize family and friends with a gift in their honor for holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and weddings, please click here
                             Special Thanks

A special thanks to
Jeff Weigel for the donation of pizzas for 
our Family Fun Night last week at the Refuge. We have such wonderful partners in our business community!


This is the gift card which is sturdy and the size of a credit card

New Gift Card Now Available
Now, for the easiest possible "Ding" gift-giving, we present the Refuge Nature Store gift card. Purchase one in any amount from $25 up. To order by mail, email  or call 239-472-1100 ext. 241.  

'Ding' In the Palm of Your Hand - The ultimate, most convenient field guide to Refuge wildlife just hit the shelves at the Nature Store. For only $8.95, you get a laminated, colorful folding naturalist's guide picturing the most often spotted birds, mammals, reptiles, and other Refuge creatures. Stop in today to pick up your copy, or 
email or call 239-472-1100 ext. 241 to have it delivered.

Conservation Art Day Discount
The Nature Store will be discounting Color-A-Magnet, Paint-A-Birdhouse, and other artsy gifts at 10% off during Conservation Art Day at the Refuge, the finale of "Ding" Darling Days on Saturday, October 22. 

Remember, proceeds from all Nature Store sales go directly to the Refuge for educational programs and wildlife research.

Photo courtesy of 
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service


Location: Nearly 80,000 acres in northern Utah at the mouth of the Bear River

Totemic Fauna:
White-faced Ibis and Snowy Plover

Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Fun for the Family: Hike the 1.5-mile trails around the Wildlife Education Center.

Visitor's Tip: The 12-mile, one-way Auto Tour through the Refuge is a fantastic way to see its crucial wetlands. Call ahead to check that road conditions are safe.

Help Save the Island
"Ding" Darling Wildlife Society has undertaken a campaign to acquire 8.15 acres on Sanibel Island's Wulfert Road as a crucial wildlife corridor for the "Ding" Darling Refuge. We must raise $2 million in private funds to purchase the parcel, which lies between SCCF land and the Refuge.  If not preserved by the Refuge, the land could be developed with as many as five dwellings and READ MORE
For more information, contact DDWS Executive Director Birgie Miller at 239-292-0566 or by email.
27th Annual "Ding" Darling Days - Through October 22, 2016
Smithsonian Water/Ways Exhibit - October 28-December 8, 2016
Wildlife Drive Fee-Free Days - November 12-13, 2016
Kids Fishing Derby - November 28, 2016
Happy Hour Holiday Shopping - November 30, 2016
DDWS Annual Meeting - December 7, 2016
Biweekly Wednesday Film Series (Sponsored by Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts) - January 4-April 12, 2017
Go Wild for "Ding" - February 8, 2017
Volunteer Awards Luncheon - February 10, 2017

Photo courtesy of Sierra Hoisington
Photo courtesy of Janet & Aaron Kirk

Two great bird close-ups: a Yellow-crowned Night Heron and a Brown Pelican

   To see more wildlife photos like these, click on our social media links:

Like us on Facebook View on Instagram
or go to the Society website to view the live webcam!

If you have taken any beautiful, interesting, or just plain goofy photos taken at the Refuge, send them to Carrie Alexander for a chance to be featured in upcoming newsletters.

These are just snapshots of some of the things taking place at your Wildlife Refuge.  Please check our website at www.dingdarlingsociety.org to learn more!

Birgit Miller, Executive Director

"Ding" On The Wing composed by Chelle Koster Walton.  Designed by Sarah Lathrop and Emily Koval.
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