Celebrity birders Don & Lillian Stokes to lead private Refuge birding tours
Longtime Sanibel Island winter residents and nationally acclaimed bird authors and TV personalities Don and Lillian Stokes will once again contribute their time and expertise to lead two fundraising birders tram tours of “Ding” Darling Refuge this winter season on the morning of Friday, Feb. 8, 2013.
Wildlife Drive is normally closed on Fridays, meaning tour participants will have the birds and the Stokes to themselves. Lillian Stokes will speak about and demonstrate bird photography on one of the trams, while her husband, on a second tram, will focus on the principles of bird identification.
Tarpon Bay Explorers, the Refuge’s official recreation concession, will be donating the use of two trams. Together, they accommodate 80 passengers, so interested persons are encouraged to make reservations as soon as possible, because the Stokes’ past tram tours have filled up quickly.
The Stokes have authored 32 books in their Stokes Field Guides series, including two new books due out in March 2013, and have hosted a birding television show for PBS.
“The Stokes are veteran birding experts recognized throughout the country, and they have quite a following,” said Birgie Vertesch, Executive Director of the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge, which is organizing the tours.
“Thanks to their generosity and our partnership with Tarpon Bay Explorers, 100 percent of the proceeds from this fundraiser will benefit wildlife and education programs at the refuge.”
Cost for tour tickets are $75 each for a half-day tour that includes coffee and pastries in the Refuge Education Center starting at 7:30 a.m. and use of spotting scopes on the drive. To make your reservation, contact Birgie at 239-292-0566 or firstname.lastname@example.org.