February 4, 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. 
Memorial & Honor Gifts 

 These gifts were made to DDWS in honor of and in memory of friends and families during January 2021. Thank you to everyone who supported the Refuge in this thoughtful and meaningful way. 
Make a memorial or honor donation here.
Whether you live on Sanibel Island or in a completely different environment in faraway places like  North Dakota or New Mexico, we want to see what you're seeing in your habitat while you are staying safe at home.
Thank you to Roger K Harned for sharing this image of a Viceroy Butterfly from his backyard in Omaha, Nebraska.

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.
Read more about becoming part of our new monthly giving program.
TODAY, February 4 
The Clyde Butcher Family Lecture

Called "his most comprehensive collection of Everglades photography," Clyde Butcher's latest book, the oversized coffee-table The Everglades, showcases his work in a collectible edition.

On the heels of the release of his latest Florida photographic collection, The Everglades, Clyde Butcher will be presenting at a February 4 "Ding" Darling lecture at The Community House at 2173 Periwinkle Way on Sanibel Island starting at 10 a.m., along with his wife, fellow photographer-artist, Niki Butcher, and daughter-manager Jackie Butcher-Obendorf.

Clyde Butcher is known world over for his large-format, black-and-white nature photos that take the craft to levels of composed artistry. His wife, who will be mounting an exhibition at the Refuge starting in mid-November 2021, specializes in hand-painted photographs that also glorify nature's beauty.
Called "his most comprehensive collection of Everglades photography," the oversized coffee-table book The Everglades showcases Clyde's work in a collectible edition with READ MORE 

Thanks to sponsors Wayne & Linda Boyd for supporting this lecture.

Missed the previous Dr. Guggenheim lecture? Head to our YouTube Channel to view the recording.

All other lectures will be taped.  Head to our web page the Tuesday following each lecture to view a recorded video.
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. Following CDC guidelines, there will be socially distanced seating for the free lectures. Seating will be limited and available on a first-come basis. Staff will be distributing a limited number of entry wristbands to attendees that morning, after taking touch-free temperature readings. Guests must be wearing wristbands and facemasks 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 a.m.
February 5:
 Artist-in-Residence Journal Walks

Artist in Residence Rachel Pierce leads the free monthly Art Journal Walks.
Walk, sketch, and learn with "Ding" Artist in Residence Rachel Pierce on Friday, February 5. She will offer three walks that day. To ensure social distancing, each time slot is limited to 10 participants, so make your free reservation today for 10 a.m., 11 a.m., or noonThe walks include a free journal and pencil to start your nature sketching off. Facemasks are requested.
Rachel's art walks end at the Wildlife Education Boardwalk, a short hike down Indigo Trail.

to support free educational programs such as this at the Refuge.

Remember, profits from all Nature Store sales go directly to the Refuge for educational programs, wildlife research, and overall conservation efforts.
Get a sneak preview of the documentary.
February 17: Bird of Prey Film

The ninth annual "Ding" Darling Film Series will adapt to distancing and pandemic safety protocols with virtual airings and follow-up discussions via Zoom. It continues on Wednesday, February 17, with Bird of Prey, a 94-minute documentary that takes viewers on a journey upon the wings of the world's rarest eagle, the Philippine Eagle.

Unlike other films in the series, this film is ONLY available to be streamed from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. EST on February 17, so make sure to mark your calendars for this time. 

A Zoom virtual discussion is scheduled for 5 p.m. Pre-registration for the film and discussion are required. Those who register for the film will READ MORE

Thanks to our 2021 Film Series sponsor: 

Philanthropic support in the form of sponsorships makes a big difference in what we can raise to support conservation education efforts.  Thanks to those sponsors who are already supporting our unique event and thanks to anyone considering support:

Call of the Wild Sponsor

Champion Sponsors
Guardian Sponsor

Protector Sponsors

Defender Sponsors


In the spirit of creativity and accessibility, we decided to shake up our annual Go Wild for "Ding" fundraiser.  We hope you will join us as a sponsor.  The 2021 Go Wild for Jeopar-Ding will take place virtually on Wednesday, March 31 as a playful emulation of the comforting and classic Jeopardy game show.  
Refuge Starts Free Seasonal Tours

A family learns about life at the seashore during Sunday Beach Walk.
The Refuge has received the greenlight on offering socially distanced tours of 10 people or less. There's no set schedule, so monitor the Eventbrite page to see what staff and volunteers are currently offering and to sign up for tours such as Birding the Refuge car caravan tour, Bailey Tract Tour, Bike Tour, and Beach Walk. Please bring your own binoculars and scopes. The next tour is a Beach Walk at Perry Tract/Gulfside City Park on Sunday, February 7, starting at 9 a.m.

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 through February 12. 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.
WoW Public Appearance
Our new Wildlife on Wheels (WoW) urban mobile classroom has begun its weeklong visits to schools around the five-county area. 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 this upcoming FREE event.

Today, February 412 noon-3 p.m.: "Ding" Darling Visitor & Education Center parking lot.
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. 
'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 Michael A. Kelly.
Mallard. Image courtesy of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Location: 25,162 acres; 12 miles east of Jena, Louisiana. 

White-tailed Deer. Image courtesy of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Totemic Flora and FaunaMallard, Wood Duck, White-  tailed Deer.

Visitor's Tip: The Duck Lake Wildlife Drive provides 9  miles of wildlife viewing opportunities including two hiking  trails and an observation tower.

Green Takeout Meals

These past months of the pandemic have seen a rise in takeout food from restaurants and other outlets. This can amount to tons of waste, a lot of it plastic or Styrofoam.  Lighten your
Did you know it takes 1,000 years for plastic utensils to break down and decompose?
 load on the universe by requesting restaurants to "hold the plastic utensils" when you're taking your food home to eat (or bring your own cutlery along). Also, pay attention to which restaurants use biodegradable, recyclable, or reusable to-go containers. Frequent them more often and let them know that's why you're doing it. Finally: Do you really need a plastic bag to carry the containers? Refuse the plastic bag or bring your own to carry the carryout containers. 
2021 Wish List

From gas cards for the Wildlife on Wheels (WoW) to educational taxidermy, our 2021 Wish List is full of good ideas for this year's giving.

The Education Team is wishing for donations for field trips for under-represented minority communities this summer.

Click HERE to see this week's wildlife sightings.

Photo by Herb Nickles
Anhingas have been spotted along Wildlife Drive. As a reminder, the best time to see many of our avian species along the drive is during low tide.

The name "Anhinga" comes from the Tupi language of Brazil and means "snake bird." This is because of its long snakelike neck as it slithers through the water.

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.
WoW Open House at the Refuge - February 4, 2021

Go Wild for Jeopar-Ding - March 31, 2021

Lecture SeriesThrough March 19, 2021

Virtual Film Series - Through April 12, 2021   

Earth Day at the Refuge - April 22, 2021

Artist-in-Residence Exhibition - October 1 - November 10, 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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