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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Ding Darling

Today at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge we went to a talk on identifying birds given by Bill Thompson, III, editor of Bird Watcher's Digest, and his wife, the wonderful bird artist Julie Zickefoose. Later we went out to dinner with them.

Bill and Julie are very musical and entertained the audience with several bird-themed songs. Our favorite was "Mommas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowbirds." After their talk they signed copies of their book "How To Identify Yourself."

While Ding Darling is still a haven right now to lots of migrating birds, it and the surrounding waters of San Carlos Bay, are having issues with unusually large amounts of algal growth, possibly due to excessive polluted water releases from Lake Okeechobee that go down the Caloosahatchee River into the bay and refuge. Many organizations such as PURRE, and others are working hard now to address this issue.

Tomorrow we leave Sanibel and head to St. Mark's National Wildlife Refuge in the panhandle of FL., then on to see Prairie Chickens in IL.

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