On a late evening stroll in Jonathan Dickinson State Park we spotted several Florida Scrub Jays. The evening light was nice and the birds were so busy searching for food they “sorta” ignored me. I wish I could have gotten closer, but they were in the shrubs well off the walking path. I noticed some were banded and at least one didn’t seem to have a band.
The Florida scrub jay is one of the species of scrub jay native to North America. It is the only species of bird endemic to the U.S. state of Florida and one of only 15 species endemic to the United States. Because of this, it is heavily sought by birders who travel from across the country to observe this unique species. It is known to have been present in Florida as a distinct species for at least 2 million years, and is possibly derived from the ancestors of Woodhouse’s scrub jay, the inland forms of the western scrub jay. (2-wikipedia)
Relic Florida sand dunes left over from a time when sea levels were much higher are the only place in the world where you can find Florida scrub habitat. This extreme habitat born of the sea and maintained by fire is the only home of the Florida Scrub-Jay. Unfortunately, high, dry and well-drained land is prime habitat for housing subdivisions and orange groves too, and little scrub remains for the jays. The scrub still in existence has been fragmented, and as a result has not enjoyed the renewing effects of fire which keep the habitat healthy. As a result, scrub-jay habitat and scrub-jay numbers are dwindling.
The Florida Scrub-Jay was classified as a Threatened species by the state in 1975, and by the federal government in 1987, but these designations have failed to halt the population decline. By 1993, Florida Scrub-jay populations had declined an estimated 90%, to about 10,000 individuals. Since then, further, severe declines have been documented in some Scrub-jay populations in Brevard County and elsewhere. (1-Audubon)
To learn more about the Florida Scrub Jay go here:
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_scrub_jay and
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22 thoughts on “~Florida Scrub Jay~”
What a cute little fellow! Gorgeous photos! Hope he gets some protection:)
Hi Pam, they are currently protected; however their habitat is being diminished. They are watched pretty closely here, notice the banding.
What a beautiful bird…so sad to read about his declining numbers. Hope they get help…
All your pictures are so crisp and clear, but I especially like the first one. Thanks for sharing Sheila.
Gay, I truly enjoy watching the Scrub Jays. I just wish they would learn to eat other things besides what they find in the sand pine areas. Thanks Gay!
Beautiful photographs of a sweet little bird. Hope they get the protection they need.
Hi Janell, they are gorgeous birds with interesting color combination. Like a painting – 🙂
Lovely bird and beautiful photos, but very saddening to hear about this…
Hi Doc! Yes, it is sad, but hopefully their numbers will increase along with the added protection.
Great pictures! They are hard to see and really hard to photograph.
Thanks much Beth!
such pretty birds! love their subtle color changes!
Theresa, they do have pretty colors!
Interesting post and lovely images.
Thank you Frank for your kind words and thanks for stopping by.
They are beautiful, so different than the blue jays here in Pa., and you’re right the light was gorgeous.
Thanks much Felicia! We have the Western Scrub and the Stellar Jays in Colorado. The Scrub Jays in CO don’t have the beige color and are darker.
I love our blue jays… Michelle
Michelle, they are all so beautiful! Hope you are doing well! 😉
Great shots of the Scrub Jay! I hope to add this bird to my list one day.. Happy weekend!
I hope you do Eileen; they are really stunning to see.
Nice capture! It’s story is so similar to our Hawaiian birds. Although we have already lost many that are now extinct.
It is very sad when a species is lost. They are trying very hard to help these Florida Scrubs. They deserve the effort. Mahalo! Until next time, enjoy yourself.