Surprisingly, in spite of the economic crises, people from all walks of life and interests answered his call. In 1938, a national conference on the subject was held in Washington D.C. Out of this conference a new national conservation organization emerged. It was the National Wildlife Federation. "Ding Darling" was its first President. The organization's first cry was a letter writing campaign to Congress to say "Sympathy is not enough. What we want is ACTION. Now on its 75th anniversary that attitude for action remains. We recently visited Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, just off the coast from Fort Myer, Florida. It remains one of the nations premier bird habitats with a special emphasis on wading and other shorebirds. Take a look......Little Blue Heron. In the ditch right below me. A Black Crown Night Heron. Well hidden little fellow. A pair of Black Vultures. There were also lots of Turkey Vultures overhead throughtout Florida. They are regular Minnesota summer visitors. Our now omnipresent Bald Eagles seem to take over their job in the winter.
Although a not very clear picture methinks this is a tri-colored heron or a reddish egret. Probably the former. The reddish egret has a pink base beak. Has a tendency to forage by madly dashing about stirring up the water. The first time I saw one last year I thought it was drunk!Mr. curved beak - the white Ibis. A Yellow Crowned Night Heron drew several photographers along the road, including yours truly.
Looks like some kind of yellowlegs to me. Remember though, I've been doing this birding thing only a couple of years and don't get to see shore birds very often. (oops, corrected thanks to Veronica and Jane) as an immature night heron.
The last picture shows a not uncommon view. While birds can be seen right along the road, many are out and about on the distant islands and mudflats. A scope, which I don't have, would be a big help. Through the generosity of strangers, who did have them, I was able to see some pinkish roseate spoonbills, dowitchers, whimbrels and other unusual species. Up close and personal, were large flocks of what the pros call "peeps." That is to say, small little shorebirds, who all looked alike to me. I didn't have a clue. I guess its a good reason to keep working at it. I guess I'll have to leave beautiful Minnesota in the depths of winter and head to Florida to keep working at it. As they say "its a tough job but somebody's......... :)