January 21, 2021
In This Issue

The DDWS staff has been busy bringing the healing sunshine and beauty of the Refuge to the public through 30-second social media videos. Follow on Facebook to see our 
#DailyDoseofDing, brief virtual visits to the Refuge for those who can't make it. The posts have become a much-anticipated feature, boosting Facebook numbers to nearly 16,000 followers. 
Whether you live on Sanibel Island or in a completely different environment in faraway places like Connecticut or Quebec, we want to see what you're seeing in your habitat while you are staying safe at home. 

Thank you to Alton Marsh from Frederick, Maryland, for sharing this image of a Blue Jay.

Please email your nature photos so we can share them in "Ding" on the Wing and by social media. Include details about the photographer and where the photo was taken.
New Refuge Manager

Having filled the role of Acting Refuge Manager at "Ding" Darling since April 2019, Kevin Godsea now steps up to the position of permanent project leader managing the new Southwest Florida National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Complex. The Complex also includes Florida Panther, Ten Thousand Islands, Pine Island, Matlacha Pass, Island Bay, and Caloosahatchee NWRs. Kevin has been serving as Refuge Manager for Florida Panther and Ten Thousand Islands NWRs for the past 10 years.
A 22-year veteran of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), Kevin began his relationship with "Ding" Darling in 2000 as an Education Specialist and then Supervisory Refuge Ranger. Following that, he served as READ MORE.
Intern Katy Gets Ranger Promotion

Katy Hosokawa, who joined the Refuge team as a Visitor Services Intern in June 2020, began her first day as a full-time Refuge Ranger on January 17 to assist Supervisory Refuge Ranger Toni Westland in an official capacity for a term of 180 days. She takes a position vacated by Ranger Monica Scroggin in January 2020.
"I'm so happy that we were able to get Katy on the roster as a staff employee," said Toni. "With Refuge employees decreasing by more than half over the past decade, we badly need more staff support, and Katy has proven herself to be invaluable since she came aboard as an intern." A native Texan from READ MORE.
Friday, January 29: Guggenheim Ocean Doctor Lecture

Dr. David E. Guggenheim. Credit: Shari Sant Plummer.
As founder of the nonprofit organization Ocean Doctor, dedicated to advancing ocean conservation worldwide, David E. Guggenheim will share "Lessons from the Deep: What the Oceans Are Telling Us and Why it Matters" at the first free "Ding" Darling lecture of the season. It will take place at The Community House at 2173 Periwinkle Way on Sanibel Island starting at 10 a.m. on Friday, January 29.
Guggenheim - a marine scientist, conservation policy specialist, ocean explorer, submarine pilot, and educator - is also an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University and creator of the Cuba Conservancy. He has worked in Cuba for more than 20 years leading collaborative research and conservation efforts focused on advancing economically and environmentally sustainable solutions for coastal communities to READ MORE.

Thanks to our sponsor for this lecture:

Lecture Series Protocols
The upcoming season's "Ding" Darling Lecture Series evolves with the times and persisting distance protocols by moving to a larger venue. Socially distanced seating for the free lectures is limited and available on a first-come basis. Staff will be distributing a limited number of entry wristbands to attendees beginning at 9 a.m. that day. Touchless temperatures will also be taken before wristbands are distributed.  Guests must be wearing wristbands and face masks to enter the lecture room. Early arrivals may save their seat and one other with personal items. Saved seats must be filled by 9:45. 
Spoonie Activity Contest

In partnership with our 2019 Artist in Residence Ed Anderson and West Mountain Drifters, we are holding a contest for kids ages 14 and younger. Follow the instructions for downloading, completing, and submitting the Roseate Spoonbill Activity Sheet to win fun prizes. The Roseate Spoonbill is one of the most-loved and beautiful birds at "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Decorate yours however you wish to share on social media.
Remember, profits from all Nature Store sales go directly to the Refuge for educational programs, wildlife research, and overall conservation efforts.
More WoW Public Appearances

Our new Wildlife on Wheels (WoW) urban mobile classroom has begun its weeklong visits to schools around the five-county area. In between school engagements, the education team is scheduling appearances open to the public. Plan your safe, guided tour of WoW's hand-on exhibits (disinfected by staff after each use) at one of these FREE events.
Thursday, January 21, 9 a.m.-12 noon: Open House at the Refuge Visitor & Education Center
Friday, January 22, 9 a.m.-12 noon: Open House at the Refuge Visitor & Education Center
Saturday, February 6, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.: IMAG Science Saturday at IMAG History & Science Center, 2000 Cranford Avenue, downtown Fort Myers
Donate to support WoW's mission to reach schools, libraries, community centers, and events in under-represented neighborhoods to instill interest in the Refuge and a connection to nature.
Anhinga Rescue
by Carolyn Bergen, Monofilament Team Leader
Monofilament fishing line left in local waters and trees is a serious threat to birds and other wildlife.

Flocks of white pelicans soared overhead while dolphins frolicked around us in the open water. Our group of monofilament retrieval volunteers slowly worked our way along the northern shore of Green Point in Tarpon Bay. A commotion up ahead in a tangle of mangrove roots caught our attention. As we neared, we realized we had come upon an anhinga who had the misfortune of being entangled in some of the very fishing line we had come to retrieve. The imperiled bird had monofilament wrapped so tightly around one of its wings that it could not fly. Adding to its peril was the weight of the 10-inch fish that had swallowed the lure at the end of the line.
As we neared the imperiled bird, it became increasingly agitated. One of our volunteers was an experienced bird handler, and he deftly tucked the body under his arm while grabbing the neck with his free hand. We worked quickly to untangle most of the line from the wing, and with a quick snip of the scissors, the bird regained enough range of motion to take flight. We retrieved the monofilament and lure and continued on to look for more surprises up ahead.  Check Mine Your Line for more information

'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. that is open to the public. 
Image courtesy of Images courtesy of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Location1,640,000 acres; northwest from Fairbanks, Alaska, near Bettles

Totemic FaunaCaribou, Wood Frog, Beaver

Visitor's TipThis remote refuge is only accessible by aircraft, snowmobile, boat, or foot.  
Wood Frog

Click HERE to see this week's wildlife sightings.

Photo by Sherm Bedford.

Wood Storks have been seen on the Refuge recently. 

Although Wood Storks are social birds that show very little aggression, they may pull their neck in, fluff up their feathers, and walk toward an intruder that threaten them.

To see more wildlife photos click on our social media links:
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If you have taken any beautiful, interesting, or just plain goofy photos at the Refuge, send them to Development Officer Sierra Hoisington, for a chance to be 
featured in upcoming newsletters.
Monitor our COVID-19 page for news of event cancellations or reschedules.
Artist-in-Residence Plein-Air Demos - Through April, 2021 

Virtual Film Series - January 20-April 12, 2021   

Go Wild for Jeopar-Ding - March 31, 2021

Earth Day at the Refuge - April 22, 2021

Artist-in-Residence Exhibition - October 1 - November 15, 2021

Niki Butcher Photographic Exhibition - Mid-November-December 2021
These are just snapshots of some of the things taking place at your Wildlife Refuge.  Please check our website to learn more!

Birgit Miller, Executive Director

"Ding" On The Wing composed by Chelle Koster Walton.  Designed by interns Julie D'Agostino and Hollis Hatfield

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