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And The Winners Are …

First Place:  Heidi Dirkse’s “Looking for Love”

Second Place:  Frank Brinker’s “Low-Flying Fisherman”

Third Place:  Kathleen Colligan’s “Mangrove Tree Crab”


Our friends at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge credit the Refuge’s namesake, Jay Norwood Darling, for recognizing the importance of art in conveying powerful messages about conservation and the need for protecting our native wildlife and habitats.

With this in mind, they sponsor photography contests each year in the hope of inspiring future conservation stewards.  The Refuge offers an assortment of wonderful wildlife sighting opportunities, evidenced by the winning entries for the 31st Annual “Ding” Darling Amateur Nature Photography Contest, all of which were captured at the Refuge.

The Ding Darling Wildlife Society recently announced the three winners and ten honorable mentions out of the 91 entries they received for the 2023 contest from 14 states and three countries.

“Despite the disruption from Hurricane Ian, the contest generated much excitement and nostalgia among photographers and our judges,” said April Boehnen, DDWS contest coordinator.  “The photographers found our resilient wildlife and enduring beauty once again.”

The winning photographs and honorable mention award entries will be on display in the “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center throughout the year.

To view the top-ranking entries, click here!  (And if you’re thinking ahead, the deadline for next year’s photo contest will be September 15, 2024.)

One thought on “And The Winners Are …

  1. Super excited to see the announcement for opening in 2024!! Looking forward to making reservations as soon as availabile. We were there on vacation before, during and after hurricane Ian hit 9.28.23. (We safely evacuated 9.27.23 to N. Naples.)

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