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Ding Darling Day


This year’s “Ding” Darling Day birding and eco-festival at JN “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel will be held on Sunday, October 20, just about two months away!

Free activities during the one-day event include refuge tram tours, live wildlife presentations, wildlife yoga, nature sketching, origami, archery clinics, hot dogs, a touch tank and butterfly house, and kids nature crafts. Federal Duck Stamp and Junior Duck Stamp winner presentations, plus conservation art award ceremonies, will take place throughout the day.

At 11:00 a.m., headliners Dusty Crum and Mike Kirkland will co-present a free program about their work to eliminate the Burmese python epidemic now threatening the Florida Everglades.  Everglades Burmese python hunter Dusty “Wildman” Crum has appeared in a number of television spots, including the Today Show, Swamp Mysteries on the History Channel, and most recently on the Discovery Channel’s “Guardians of the Glades” series.  Biologist Mike Kirkland manages the python elimination program for the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) with a team of about 25 hunters.

Recreation concession Tarpon Bay Explorers will offer free stand up paddleboarding clinics in the morning and all-day discounts on kayak tours and boating excursions that day. Reservations are recommended; visit

The 31st annual “Ding” Darling Day celebrates the birthday of the refuge’s namesake, father of the Federal Duck Stamp program and Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling. For more information, click here!

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