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Final lecture for season: 'Ding' Darling speaker to focus on swallow-tailed kites

April 11, 2018
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Dr. Kenneth Meyer, with the Avian Research and Conservation Institute, is the final speaker for the 2018 "Ding" Darling Lecture Series at the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

He will present the free program "Swallow-tailed Kites: 10,000 Miles to Survival" on April 13 at 10 a.m. and at 1 p.m. at the refuge in the Visitor & Education Center, at 1 Wildlife Drive, Sanibel.

Prior to the 1900s, swallow-tailed kites nested in 21 states, but a decline from 1880 to 1940 resulted in the current scattered population mainly in six southeastern states, including Florida. Since 1996, Meyer and his staff in Gainesville have used satellite telemetry with to describe the 10,000-mile round-trip migration of swallow-tailed kites and to identify impacts on survival and reproduction.

He and his team have studied the behavior and ecology of 16 species of birds of conservation concern from eastern Canada to Puerto Rico. He is currently conducting studies on the mangrove cuckoos and reddish egrets at the refuge, funded by the "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge.

Seating for the lectures is limited and available on a first-come basis. Early arrivals can save one seat extra each with a personal item. Saved seats must be filled 15 minutes before lecture time.

For more information, call 239-472-1100 or visit

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