Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Image of roseate spoonbill tops submissions for 2009 'Ding' Days Amateur Nature Photo Contest

Joe Mikus' image of a roseate spoonbill was declared the first place winner in the 2009 'Ding' Darling Days Amateur Nature Photography Contest.
On Saturday, "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) announced the winners of its annual "Ding" Darling Days Amateur Nature Photography Contest at a special Conservation Through Art Day presentation at the Refuge Education Center.

On Oct. 2, judges selected 12 winners from 108 entries. First place went to Joe Mikus from Winchester, Va. for his moody portrait of a single roseate spoonbill looking at the camera with wings extended.

Miguel Hnatow of Sanibel Island took second place with an image of a bobcat mid-step. In third place was Michael Dougherty from Clarkston, Mich. with his snowy egret photograph capturing the bird landing on a branch.

The three winners will receive cash awards from DDWS at a special presentation on Oct. 24. The winning artwork and other entries will be on display in the Refuge Education Center through the end of May.

DDWS Director Terry Baldwin coordinated the contest. Judges included Supervisory Park Ranger Toni Westland and photographers Dick Fortune and Don Parsons. West Wind Inn sponsored the contest.

To view the other top-ranking entries, visit www.dingdarlingsociety.org and click on "Photos."

Entries earning honorable mentions (in alphabetical order) included David Drachman of Concord, Mass. (Snowy Egret); Ginny Campbell Darmouth of Devon, England (White Pelican); Bill Fischer of Hinsdale, Ill. (White Pelicans); Leslie Hastings of St. James City, Fla. (Raccoon); John P. Hawkins of Cape Coral (Roseate Spoonbill); George Hoch of Fort Myers (Roseate Spoonbill); Ken LaValley of Lake Worth, Fla. (Horseshoe Crabs); Rick Shultz of Cape Coral (Great Blue Heron); and Don Thompson of Indianapolis, Ind. (Raccoon).

"Ding" Darling Days 2009 was hosted by DDWS, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Tarpon Bay Explorers. Local sponsors include Doc Ford's Sanibel Rum Bar & Grille, Times of the Islands, 'Tween Waters Inn, Bailey's General Store, Caloosa Tent & Rental, Edison National Bank, Jerry's Foods of Sanibel, John Grey Painting, Ocean's Reach, Royal Shell Vacations, Sanibel Captiva Community Bank, Sanibel Captiva Trust Co.. Shop On Sanibel, a division of R.L.R. Investments L.L.C., Jim and Patty Sprankle, The Timbers Restaurant & Fish Market, West Wind Inn, Billy's Rentals and Billy's Bikes Blind Pass Condominium Vacation Rentals, In-Home Therapy of Sanibel/Island Therapy Center, Lily & Company, Rotary Club of Sanibel-Captiva, Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanis Club, Suncatcher's Dream, The Clem Werner Family, Barefoot Charley's Painting, Casa Ybel Resort, Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program (CHNEP), Dan Hahn Custom Builders, Chip and Sheryl Lesch, Lighthouse Caf, Over Easy Caf, Sanibel Arms West, Wendy and George Schnapp, Sotheby's International Realty, Winston and Barbara Spurgeon, She Sells Sea Shells, Traders Store & Caf and Twilight Caf.

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