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"Ding" Darling Wildlife Society Newsletter
November 17, 2016
In This Issue
A rare shot of a Bobcat taken at the Bailey Tract by Sylvia Guarino.
Special Osprey Lecture

Mark your calendar for Thursday, December 15, to attend a special lecture made possible in partnership with the International Osprey Foundation. At 5 p.m. in the Refuge Visitor & Education Center Auditorium, ornithologist and author Alan Poole will present a PowerPoint lecture on his worldwide Osprey research. He wrote the definitive book on the species in the late 1980s and is at work on an update with a global READ MORE

Go Wild Registration OPEN

Make plans to attend the fifth annual fundraiser for the "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society on Wednesday, February 8, 2017, at the Sanibel Community House. This year's Go Wild for "Ding" - Give a Hoot theme continues a series of bird-themed events to benefit the birds, other wildlife, and conservation and education efforts at the Refuge. Attendance is by reservation only. Click HERE to register today. This event sells out fast, so don't wait. For more information on Go Wild, click here.

Carolyn Linehan came in third place last year with her "Sssssss."
The fourth annual "Ding" Darling-Theodore Cross High School Photography Contest is off and running with a deadline of January 15, 2017. The contest invites high school students in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Glades, and Hendry counties to compete for prizes that include a Canon digital SLR camera package, chartered class trips to the Refuge, and copies of Waterbirds READ MORE
New Education Intern

Education intern Laura La Beur recently arrived to help out the Refuge with manpower shortages this season, thanks to funding from the "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society. A native of Sebastian, Florida, Laura graduated from Florida Atlantic University in May 2015 with a degree in biological science and a minor in environmental science. She last worked as a full-time field inspector for Mosquito Control in Key Largo, Florida.

"I was out in the swamps doing mosquito surveillance," she said. "I would also go door-to-door looking for domestic mosquito breeding. I was with Monroe County from basically the conception of Zika in Miami until September." At "Ding," Laura will be assisting education specialist Ranger Becky Larkins with educational programming for the next six months. "I really love getting to interact with the school groups," she said. "Seeing their excitement while learning makes me more passionate about environmental education."

DDWS provides living stipends and other benefits for about a dozen interns each year. The Refuge supports interns and resident volunteers with free housing.
Tomorrow, November 18

John Moran photographed "Look Into the Eye" at Florida's Silver Glen Springs.
John Moran

The third in the Water/Ways Soak-It-In Speaker Series features nature photographer and water advocate John Moran, who will present a photographic lecture titled "Our Water, Our Future" on Friday, November 18 at 
1 p.m. Cofounder of the Springs Eternal Project to educate Floridians and decision-makers, John concentrates on photography that captures the best of vanishing natural Florida. His program focuses on Florida's iconic springs as a case study for exploring the larger topic of water and Florida's READ MORE

Saturday, November 19

Water-related crafts and educational games are part of the fun on Saturday's H-2-GO mornings, part of Water/Ways programming.

Saturday's H-2-GO weekly family program on November 19 features a "Food Web Frenzy" activity at 10 a.m. In it, you become part of Southwest Florida's mangrove estuary ecosystem and learn how poor water quality can impact this vital habitat. At 11 a.m., interact with the Go With the Flow water table to learn how chemicals used on land can foul our waters.

Also on Saturday Tarpon Bay Explorers (TBE) is conducting a free Standup Paddleboard (SUP) Clinic from 9 a.m. to 12 noon for Water/Ways. The SUP clinic will consist of mini lessons to teach novices and experienced paddlers proper paddling technique. The lessons are conducted on a first-come basis. All experience levels are welcome, but participants must be at least 13 years old. At 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. the TBE Nature & Sea Life Cruises are 10 percent off. They include a touch tank session prior to the excursion. Call 239-472-8900 for more information.

Water/Ways examines the multiple facets of water in our lives -- delving into cultural, environmental, spiritual, economic, political, and industrial contexts.

Wednesday, November 23

Wednesdays are Film Fest Day - sponsored by LCEC -- during Water/Ways. On November 23, catch National Geographic's Can the Gulf Survive? at 10 a.m. or 
1 p.m. Having exclusive access to BP's clean-up operations after the Deepwater Horizon 
explosion in April 2010, National Geographic investigates what 
happened to the 4.9 million barrels of oil that poured from the sea floor in one of the worst environmental disasters in READ MORE

While you are visiting the Water/Ways exhibit, check out the Southwest Florida Fine Craft Guild's 52-artist "Engulfed" art show. Here, Lynn Ondercin placed second for her red alabaster "Dolphin Dreams" sculpture.

Saturday, November 26

Kids win prizes based on total inches of fish they catch and release.
Kids who are able to hold their own fishing pole may participate in the FREE fifth annual
"Ding" Darling Kids Fishing Derby to be held at the Sanibel Causeway Islands Park (Island A, closest to the mainland) on Saturday, November 26, 2016 -- part of this year's Smithsonian Water/Ways exhibit at the Refuge. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. on the READ MORE

For a full calendar of Water/Ways activities, please click here

Purchase a gift for your loved ones from the Refuge Nature Store where 100% of the proceeds benefit conservation & education efforts at the Refuge.

Our Refuge logo Tervis tumbler is a great gift for the whole family. The 24-oz container can hold both hot and cold beverages, keeping them their ideal temperature thanks to their insulated interior. For $24.99, "Ding" Darling can go 
wherever you go.

This beautiful J.N. "Ding" Darling hat is the perfect way to keep the sun out of your eyes or even sport your favorite National Wildlife Refuge wherever you live. We have multiple colors and designs stocked including: Roseate Spoonbill, Anhinga, Tarpon, "Ding" Darling design, Sea Turtle, White Pelican, Alligator, and Snook. Our hats are $23.99 and can be worn by any animal- or Refuge-lover.

If you have any questions, please email or call Nature Store Manager Jeanne Walsh at (239)472-1100 ext. 241

With the holidays approaching, a wonderful way to tell friends and family that you love them is by making a gift in their honor to benefit the conservation efforts at the Refuge.  All gifts are tax deductible.

Nature Journals
$105 per class or $26,250 per year

Customized for Refuge school visits, nature journals encourage students to incorporate writing and drawing into their wildlife experience at the Refuge. We value any encouragement given to future conservation stewards, and the purchasing of nature journals allows children to realize their full nature-loving potential. 

Follow this link to see the FULL Refuge Wish List.

Nate Caswell

Refuge Spotlight - 'America's Best-Kept Secret'

In each issue of "Ding" on the Wing, we showcase one of the more than 560 refuges across the U.S.A. This week, the Refuge's new Deputy Manager, Nate Caswell, shares details from his former 
Yuma Clapper Rail
refuge post.

Location: 25,000+ acres on the border between California and Arizona, along the Colorado River

Totemic Fauna: Desert Bighorn Sheep and Yuma Clapper Rail

Fun for the Family: Hike the Painted Desert Trail, taking note of the interesting
Painted Desert Trail. Photos courtesy of US Fish & Wildlife Service
geology of the area. Ancient volcanic activity left the land painted in shades of orange, brown, white, and green.

Visitor's Tip: Plan your visit in the winter between October and May to avoid the extreme heat of summer.
the Island
Mangrove cuckoos are among the species whose habitat the Wulfert Road property acquisition will benefit. Photo by Patty Smith  

"Ding" Darling Wildlife Society has undertaken a campaign to acquire 8.51 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
Tarpon Tourney 2017: Save the Date
 The Sixth Annual "Ding" Darling & Doc Ford's Tarpon Tournament moves to a Friday, May 19. With 100% of the entry fees going back to the anglers, the only way support is raised for conservation efforts at the Refuge are through sponsorships and auction donations.  Please consider becoming a sponsors today.  For more information click HERE
General Registration opens December 1, 2016
Photo by Al Hoffacker

Title Sponsor 

Premiere Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor

Gold Sponsors

Captiva Diva

Gresham Families

Click ABOVE to learn more about becoming a sponsor and supporting the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge

ALSO NEW: Sponsors will receive first priority on registration, which begins on December 1, 2016Click here for information on sponsoring the tournament.

Smithsonian Water/Ways Exhibit - October 28-December 7, 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
Special Osprey Lecture - December 15, 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 Sylvia Guarino
Photo courtesy of Patty MacInnis

Some noteworthy wildlife sightings this week on the Refuge: a River Otter and a Pileated Woodpecker both along Wildlife Drive

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

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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, Emily Koval, and Sierra Hoisington.

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