Believed extinct, the ivory-billed woodpecker remains a source of fascination for birders. The eighth annual “Ding” Darling Wednesday Film Series continues its biweekly showings on March 4 with  a free airing of the ivory-billed documentary Ghost Bird at 1 p.m. in the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge Visitor & Education Center on Sanibel Island.

A 2005 announcement of an ivory-billed woodpecker sighting brought flocks of determined birders to a small town in Arkansas. Produced four years later in 2009, Ghost Bird tells the story of hope, faith, and the limits of certainty in the quest to resurrect this lost species. The 85-minute nonfiction feature gives a chronology of historical sightings of the bird that has eluded birders for more than a decade.

“Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge hosts the season’s free film showings with sponsorship from Sanibel-Captiva Beach Resorts. Seating is limited and on a first-come basis.

Below is the full schedule of the remaining season’s airings. All films begin at 1 p.m. A short discussion follows each film to allow visitors to gain more from their documentary-viewing experience by listening to other people’s points of view and analyzing what they just watched. For full descriptions of the films, visit


March 4: Ghost Bird

March 18: The Swamp

April 1: Bird of Prey


As a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, DDWS works to support J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge’s mission of conservation, wildlife and habitat protection, research, and public education through charitable donations and Refuge Nature Shop profits.

To support DDWS and the refuge with a tax-deductible gift, visit or contact Birgie Miller at  239-472-1100 ext. 4, or [email protected].