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March 2017






An opportunity arose to visit the USA and work for a week at the JN 'Ding' Darling National Wildlife refuge named after the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist.  This 6,300-acre wetland swamp is located on the subtropical barrier island of Sanibel in the Gulf of Mexico and  is part of the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the United States.

Jay Norwood Darling was instrumental in the effort to block the sale of a parcel of environmentally valuable land to developers on Sanibel Island. At Darling's urging, President Harry S. Truman signed an Executive Order creating the Sanibel National Wildlife Refuge in 1945.  In 1967 the refuge was renamed in honour of the pioneer conservationist.


Ospreys were everywhere - perched high on lighting gantries, drifting and soaring in the strong sea breezes cascading over the hotels, fishing just offshore, flying over the beach sea, and one pair performing a food-pass display.  




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