They have been busy at “Ding” Darling, tracking Mangrove Cuckoo. This bird is difficult to spot because it stays in the mangroves and getting in there to to spot one usually requires a boat and some special skills.
As part of a special wildlife grant, researchers have ben hanging out in the Refuge, hoping to spot one. Well, they more than succeeded. By playing a recording of the Cuckoo’s call, they were able to coax one to show on a mangrove branch. Then, moving deeper into the mangrove forest they were able to get two to present. This was unprecedented in the experience of the researchers.
One of those birds was captured and fitted with a leg band and a miniature radio transmitter, These will be used to track the bird to see where it goes and whether or not it leaves the immediate habitat.
As most birders know, using bird calls to attract birds is not allowed in “Ding” Darling NWR, without a special permit. As most birders also know, even without the assistance of bird calls, the refuge is a fertile area for watching and photographing birds of many species. We have many guests who stay at West Wind Inn specifically because our proximity to Ding Darling makes it convenient to bird-watch there.
Of course, they also love the beach (who doesn’t), which swarms with seabirds, and the heated pool, which attracts fellow birders to relax at poolside and at the pool-deck snack and beverage bar. This is TRUE SANIBEL.
We truly love having them here, too.