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"Ding" Darling Wildlife Society Newsletter
December 22, 2016
In This Issue
Our 2017 Film Series kicks off on January 4, 2017
To learn more, click the logo.

Thank you to our Film Series Sponsor
Your Year-End Gift to the "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society will make a difference in the conservation work at the Refuge.  From Education, Research, Land Acquisition and so much more, your gift will make a difference.  December 31 is fast approaching, so if you would like to make a 2016 tax-deductible gift, click below.
A Canon digital SLR camera package is one of the prizes in the contest.

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
If you were unable to attend the "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society Annual Meeting earlier this month, you can view the Annual Report that we handed out by clicking here.

Wishing you all the Hope, Wonder, and Joy that the Season can bring! 
Thank you for your interest and support of the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
Happy Holidays from 'Ding' To You
Wildlife Drive will remain open 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day but Friday (the day it always closes).

Tarpon Bay Explorers is open every day except Christmas Day, December 25, starting at 8 a.m.

"Ding" Darling Visitor & Education Center: 

Friday, December 23 - open 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Saturday December 24 - open 9 a.m. - 12 noon (pending early dismissal)
Sunday December 25 - CLOSED
Monday December 26 - CLOSED (holiday observed)
Friday December 30 - open 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Saturday December 31  - open 9 a.m. - 12 noon (pending early dismissal)
Sunday January 1st - CLOSED
Monday January 2nd - CLOSED (holiday observed)
New Orientation Film
Our new shorter, snappier, more 
 visitor-informative orientation film is now playing daily in the Refuge Visitor & Education Center Auditorium. If you cannot wait until your next visit to view it, we are giving you a one-time chance to watch  the new film.
 CLICK HERE to see it now. 
Foster (left) and his family from Canton, Ohio were visiting the Refuge when Foster approached Ranger Jeff Combs to donate money he had raised for "Ding" Darling in a volleyball tournament.  His parents have been visiting the island for decades and now he and his sister love visiting.  Thank you Foster!  
USFWS Directorate
Biologist Jeremy Conrad with Director Dan Ashe and Past DDWS President John McCabe
Refuge Manager Paul Tritaik with Director Dan Ashe

"Ding" hosted the U.S. Fish & Wildlife (FWS) Directorate last week. Directors from all over the country, as well as FWS Director Dan Ashe and staff gathered on Sanibel for a week of meetings and "Ding" activities. It chose the Refuge for its quarterly review based on its popularity and strong friends group. 

Lectures begin January 20, 2017
Click the logo to the left to learn more!

Thank you to our Series Sponsor
EVCO's Annual Conference seeks to raise critical, timely issues for in-depth debates in an open, accessible forum. Community leaders and political figures come to discuss their positions, pledge their support, and offer challenges to the community. Click here for more info.

You saw his work on our new Rubbing Table, so now own 
a piece of Luc Century art for your home or purchase one for the home of someone at the top of your gift list. We have everything from Christmas ornaments to these dazzling bird vases individually hand-etched by the Sanibel artisan. Stop in today to see our entire collection, or call Store Manager Jeanne Walsh at 239-472-1100 ext. 241 for more information.

                      Go Wild for "Ding" Auction  

We are thrilled to have our stunning, one-of-a-kind, aluminum alligator-heron sculpture by artist Michael Mistler here on Refuge property until early February.
Come admire it next to the handicapped lift until we move it to the Go Wild for "Ding" event for the live auction. 

The appraised value for the heron-alligator sculpture is $22,000. The piece is sure to excite any homeowner with a large yard or a Florida Gators fan. If anyone is interested in learning more about the piece or purchasing the sculpture for its appraised value, please contact Executive Director, Birgie Miller, at 239-292-0566 or email.  The Go Wild for "Ding" event sells out quickly, so make your reservations today by clicking the button below.  
Go Wild for 'Ding' Sponsorship

Interested in sponsoring our BIG 
Go Wild for Ding - Give a Hoot fundraiser on February 8? Email or call us at 239-292-0566.

Thanks to our growing list of generous sponsors:

Champion Level: Mark & Gretchen Banks, Wayne & Linda Boyd, Jim & Patty Sprankle.

Guardian Level: Island Inn, George & Wendy's Seafood Grille.

Protector Level
Sarah Ashton & Jim Metzler, Mike & Terry Baldwin, Amanda Cross, Sanibel Catering Company

Defender Level
Barrier Island Title Service, Doug & Sherry Gentry, Greenwood Consulting Group, Phyllis Gresham, Tree West LLC.

America's Best-Kept Secret

Location37,515 acres along the Colorado River from Needles, California, to Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Razorback Sucker, photos courtesy of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Totemic FaunaSnow Geese, Desert Bighorn Sheep, and an endangered fish called the Razorback Sucker

Fun for the Family: Kayak through Topock Gorge's calm waters for a picnic on one of its sandy beaches.

Visitor's Tip: The refuge offers numerous fishing opportunities, but check license and other regulations before visiting

Photo courtesy of Arnold Most
Photo courtesy of Arnold Most

Spotted at the Refuge this week: two birds chowing down on lunch. On the left, a Reddish Egret with shrimp; on the right, an Osprey with a fish.

   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, Emily Koval, and Sierra Hoisington.

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