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Big Year

In 2017, Naples resident Yve Morrell became the first woman to tally the most species of birds for the American Birding Association’s North American “Big Year” with a count of 817.

In celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, Ms. Morrell will present two special programs at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island on Friday, March 8, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

An annual, informal competition, the North American Big Year sees birders canvassing the continent to break previous records. The highest record count to date was in 2016 with 836 species recorded.

From Florida to Arizona, Hawaii, and the Aleutian Islands, Ms. Morrell covered more than 127,000 miles by air and another 30,000 by car, not to mention how many she hiked. She also spent 20 days at sea to capture pelagic species, despite bouts of seasickness. You can read about her sightings on her blog

For more information on the Ding Darling lecture series, call 239-472-1100 ext. 241 or log on to

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