DingonWing banner
"Ding" Darling Wildlife Society Newsletter
January 26, 2017
In This Issue
Photo by Mike Roche
Go Wild for 'Ding' Live Auction

One-of-a-kind art will be up for live auction and silent auction at the fifth annual fundraiser for the "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society. To learn how to bid remotely for the stunning Alligator-Heron Sculpture, valued at $22,000, contact Birgie Miller by emailor at 239-292-0566

Bid on this Alligator-Heron Sculpture by artist Michael Mistler before or during the event. View it in front of the Visitor & Education Center now. Pictured: Donor and brother to the artist Jeff Mistler with Supervisory Refuge 
Ranger Toni Westland

High bidder on this Jim Sprankle owl necklace slider also wins the privilege of heading the Sprankle Feather Club, an exclusive 50-member group that flocks together once a year for a special event.

Porcelain artist Patty Sprankle works on a sea turtle platter she is creating specially for the Go Wild silent auction.

Artist Sherry Crawford with the completed mermaid table which will be available to bid on during the silent auction.

Go Wild for "Ding" - Give a Hoot takes place on Tuesday,
February 8, 2017, at the Sanibel Community House. 
There are a handful of reservations still available.  

Click here for more information about the event.  
To attend, click below.  

Lecture Tomorrow
January 27: Clyde Butcher

Often tagged "the Ansel Adams of Florida," photographer Clyde Butcher has made for 
himself a big reputation based on big nature images taken with big cameras. On Friday,
January 27, he will be presenting two free programs at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at
A Clyde Butcher portrait of Cayo Costa
the Refuge. Based on his Big Cypress Swamp: The Western Everglades and other photographic books, the programs are part of the 2017 "Ding" Darling Lecture Series at READ MORE

Seating for the lectures is limited and available on a first-come basis. Early arrivals can save one seat each and then may explore the Visitor & Education Center or Indigo Trail before the lecture. Saved seats must be filled 15 min. before lecture time.

Thanks to our 2017 lecture series sponsor:

Wednesday, February 1 Film

Image by Ethan Johnson

The documentary film Racing Extinction continues the fifth annual "Ding" Darling Wednesday Film Series on February 1, at 1 p.m. in the Visitor & Education Center auditorium. Directed by Louie Psihoyos, Oscar-winning director of The Cove, it takes a team of artists and activists on an undercover operation to expose the hidden world of endangered species and the race to protect them against mass extinction. The covert tactics and state-of-the-art technology the team used to document the link between carbon emissions and species extinction expose forces against nature in an inspiring affirmation to preserve READ MORE

Thanks to our generous film series sponsor:

Friday, February 3 Lecture

A Naturalist Goes Fishing: Casting in Fragile Waters from the Gulf of Mexico to New Zealand's South Island combines
 fishing adventures with marine biologist James B. McClintock's overview
James McClintock
 of pressing needs for freshwater and marine conservation. On Friday, February 3, he will be presenting two free programs at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., part of the  2017 "Ding" Darling Lecture Series at the Refuge. In the tradition of fishing classics, A Naturalist Goes Fishing contains elements of the triumph between fisher and fish, humor and wit, and a passionate concern READ MORE
Tricolored Heron by Arnold Most

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 those who have already demonstrated 
their loyal support:

Champion Level Sponsors: 
                    Mark & Gretchen Banks
                   Wayne & Linda Boyd
                    Jim & Patty Sprankle 
                  John & Kathy McCabe

                    Guardian Level Sponsors:   

  Protector Level Sponsors:
Sarah Ashton & Jim Metzler, Mike & Terry Baldwin, Amanda Cross, Don and Ann Marie Wildman
Barefoot Charley's

 Defender Level Sponsors
Barrier Island Title ServiceDoug & Sherry Gentry, Greenwood Consulting GroupJohn Grey Painting;Phyllis Gresham, Hank & Linda Spire, 
Tree West LLC, Gulf Coast Lanscape Nursery & Supply, 50% Off Framing, Peter & Paula Bentinck-Smith, John & Kay Morse

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor and joining those listed above, email or call us at 239-292-0566

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.

Photo by Stephanie Pluscht

Location: Fort Morgan Peninsula in Gulf Shores, Alabama

Totemic Fauna: Carolina Chickadee, Alabama Beach Mouse, Loggerhead Sea Turtle

Fun for the Family: Nature discovery packs are available for checkout for free at the refuge office.

Visitor's Tip: You can reach the refuge by ferry from the west side of Mobile Bay or driving through Mobile and heading south to Gulf Shores.

Alabama Beach Mouse - 
Photo courtesy of USFWS
Loggerhead Sea Turtle -
Photo courtesy of USFWS

New color, new wildlife. We've expanded our popular line of women's V-neck T-shirts to include an anhinga on the back of a pretty-in-pink version, only $18.99.


Come in and check out our new line of exclusive handmade pottery, featuring Refuge wildlife. We carry pieces in every price range. Call Store Manager 
Jeanne Walsh at 239-472-1100 ext. 241 for more information about these and 

Remember, proceeds from all Nature Store sales go directly to the Refuge for educational programs and wildlife research.
gopher tortoise baldwin
Gopher Tortoises are among the species whose habitat the Wulfert Road property acquisition will benefit. Photo by Terry Baldwin
Help Save the Island

"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. Donors have already committed $600,000 of needed funds, so the goal is to raise the remaining dollars by February 2017. 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 

Free Winter Programs  Through April 23, 2017

Biweekly Wednesday Film Series - Through April 12, 2017 

Weekly Friday Lecture Series - Through April 14, 2017

Go Wild for "Ding" - February 8, 2017

FILLED Stokes Birding Tour - February 10, 2017

Volunteer Awards Luncheon - February 10, 2017
- May 18-19, 2017

29th Annual "Ding" Darling Days - October 15-22, 2017

Photo courtesy of Susan Cassell
Photo courtesy of Caren Schoen 


There were multiple interesting sightings on the Refuge this week. On the left, an immature Little Blue Heron was spotted at the Bailey Tract. And on the right, a basking Alligator was seen off Wildlife Drive. 

  To see more wildlife photos, click on our social media links:
Like us on Facebook View on Instagram

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.

Like us on FacebookView on InstagramView our videos on YouTube