DIANA'S BLOG




Birds at J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida

The American white pelicans have begun to arrive at J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island in Southwest Florida so I decided to so do some early morning bird photography there. I got very lucky and got to see many other birds besides the American white pelicans.

J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island in Southwest Florida is named after Jay N. Darling. Darling was an editorial cartoonist who won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning in 1924 and again in 1943. He got the nickname “Ding” because he signed his work with a contraction of his last name, D’ing. Knowing that Darling was also a conservationist and an avid advocate for wildlife management, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed him to a blue ribbon Committee on Wildlife Restoration in 1934. Darling initiated the Federal Duck Stamp program and designed the first stamp. Roosevelt appointed Darling as head of the U.S. Biological Survey the forerunner of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

I buy a duck stamp from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service every year because it helps promote wildlife conservation and bird habitat conservation. You can buy one here.

Here are a few photographs from the last few days on Sanibel Island.


American white pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) after having just arrived at J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island in the Gulf of Mexico


Group of American white pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) on a sandbar at J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida


Group of American white pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) at J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida


American white pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) in flight at J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island in the Gulf of Mexico


American white pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) resting on a sandbar at low tide at J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida


American white pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) at low tide at J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida


Little blue heron (Egretta caerulea) catching sand crabs at J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida


Eastern wood pewee flycatcher (Contopus virens) at Bailey Tract, J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida


Roseate spoonbill (Platalea ajaja) having a discussion over fishing rights with a snowy egret (Egretta thula) at J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, Gulf of Mexico


Roseate spoonbill (Platalea ajaja) preening just before a rainstorm at J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida


Roseate spoonbill (Platalea ajaja) in flight at J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, Florida


Snowy egret (Egretta thula) in flight at J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Gulf of Mexico


Adult Yellow-crowned night heron (Nyctanassa violacea) catching sand crabs at J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, Gulf of Mexico


Adult Yellow-crowned night heron (Nyctanassa violacea) at J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, Gulf of Mexico


Silhouettes of American white ibis (Eudocimus albus) at sunset at J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida


American white ibis (Eudocimus albus) in flight in front of Roseate spoonbills (Platalea ajaja) at J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Gulf of Mexico


Reddish egret (Egretta rufescens) at J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida


Reddish egret – bad hair day


Two Snowy egrets (Egretta thula) fighting at J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Gulf of Mexico

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Douglas Brinkley’s new book “Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Rossevelt and the Land of America”

After reading this book I will never take our National Wildlife Refuges, National Parks and National Monuments for granted. It has always been a struggle between people who wanted to preserve wilderness for future generations and people who wanted to exploit natural resources for fast profits. Bravo, Douglas Brinkley for bringing history to life and making it relevant to today’s dialogue. This book also gave me a new appreciation for Harold Ickes who served as Secretary of the Interior from 1933 to 1946. I had no idea he played such a large role in preserving public lands for our use. He and FDR made quite a team. This book is the first I’ve read that pays homage to all their accomplishments in the preservation area.

It’s really a must read for all nature and wildlife photographers. Here’s the Amazon link:

Douglas Brinkley’s new book “Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Rossevelt and the Land of America”

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Babcock Wildlife Management Area, Punta Gorda, Florida

I spent yesterday morning at the ponds in Babcock Wildlife Management Area near Punta Gorda, Florida. It is amazing how many birds were there. Just a few months ago the ponds were almost dried up and only alligators and tortoises were around the small water holes. It’s so great to see the area back to normal. I love watching all the birds at the Babcock Wildlife Management Area in the early morning hours. Here are a few shots.


Great egret (Ardea alba) in flight with fish in the early morning hours as a Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) looks on at Babcock Wildlife Management Area, Punta Gorda, Florida


Green Heron (Butorides virescens) at Babcock Wildlife Management Area, Punta Gorda, Florida


Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) at Babcock Wildlife Management Area, Punta Gorda, Florida


Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) eating berries in Fred C. Babcock/ Cecil M. Webb Wildlife Management Area, Punta Gorda, Florida


Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) at Babcock Wildlife Management Area, Punta Gorda, Florida


Wood stork (Mycteria americana) in flight, Babcock Wildlife Management Area, Punta Gorda, Florida


Green heron (Butorides virescens) with large fish, Babcock Wildlife Management Area, Punta Gorda, Florida


Great egret (Ardea alba) in flight at Babcock Wildlife Management Area, Punta Gorda, Florida


Belted kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) flexing his wings at Babcock Management Area, Punta Gorda, Florida


Belted kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) in flight at Babcock Management Area, Punta Gorda, Florida


Belted kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) in flight at Babcock Management Area, Punta Gorda, Florida


Two Belted Kingfishers (Megaceryle alcyon) having a discussion just after sunrise, Babcock Wildlife Management Area, Punta Gorda, Florida


Two Belted Kingfishers (Megaceryle alcyon) having a discussion just after sunrise, Babcock Wildlife Management Area, Punta Gorda, Florida


A flock of American white ibis (Eudocimus albus) in flight over Babcock Wildlife Management Area, Punta Gorda, Florida


Great egret (Ardea alba) on perch in Babcock Wildlife Management Area, Punta Gorda, Florida


Great egret (Ardea alba) in flight at Babcock Wildlife Management Area, Punta Gorda, Florida


Great egret (Ardea alba) in flight at sunrise, Babcock Wildlife Management Area, Punta Gorda, Florida

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