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2021 “Ding” Darling Lecture Series

Clyde and Niki Butcher

Clyde and Niki Butcher


The 17th annual “Ding” Darling Friday Lecture Series is evolving with the times.  To incorporate social distancing protocols, the lecture series will move to a larger venue this year — the Sanibel Community House — and host a total of five lectures by acclaimed nature lovers.

Running January 29 to March 19, the series will feature photographers Clyde and Niki Butcher, “Feather Thief” author Kirk W. Johnson, and eminent authorities on water conservation, eagles and owls.

“The uncertainties of COVID-19 challenged us to experiment with a new lecture series format so we could accommodate high-quality lecturers but still abide by new distancing guidelines,” Ann-Marie Wildman, lecture series organizer and manager of the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge’s Nature Store, said. “We would be very limited on how many we could seat at our usual venue in the “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center auditorium, but The Community House gives us more latitude. So, we’ve decided on fewer lectures with top-notch speakers.”

Seating is limited and available on a first-come basis. About 200 seats will be available.

Face masks will be required.

The complete schedule is as follows:

– Jan. 29: Ocean Doctor David E. Guggenheim, “Lessons from the Deep: What the Oceans Are Telling Us and Why it Matters” 

– Feb. 4: Photographers Clyde and Niki Butcher, “The Everglades” 

– Feb. 19: Author Jack Davis, “The Bald Eagle: Symbol and Species in American History” 

– March 12: Author Paul Bannick, “Gray Owl: A Visual Natural History”

– March 19: Author Kirk W. Johnson, “Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century” 

The “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge will film all of the lectures and broadcast them on Facebook Live at

For more information, visit

The Sanibel Community House is located at 2173 Periwinkle Way.




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