Florida Scrub Jay

Florida Scrub Jay

Florida Scrub Jay Bird

Florida Scrub Jay BirdThere are quite a number of people who don’t know the Florida Scrub Jay Bird is native to central and South Florida even turning up occasionally in the Panhandle. Florida Scrub Jay Bird are the only true endemic bird breeding species in the state. Scrub jays are part of the Corvid family, which means they are tremendously intelligent, creative, resourceful birds that are a delight to watch. Whether you’re new to backyard birding or are a lifelong bird watching enthusiast, you’re sure to enjoy the antics and curiosity of this blue beauty.

Recent reports indicate that there are only about 4,000 pair in the wild, which is a decrease of almost 25% since the mid-1990’s. Because of these dwindling numbers the scrub jay has been designated a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

Their favored nesting grounds are yet-to-mature open oak scrub less than 15 feet tall. Periodic burning is necessary for the propagation of this habitat thus scrub jays are solely relying on habitat management-by-fire for survival. The bird is characterized by its bright blue head, neck, wings, and tail plumes, with fawn and gray colored mantle and underparts. Their unusual breeding strategy is also a part of what makes them unique. Living in groups of several pairs, these birds have one or more helpers at the nest, typically young birds not mature enough to breed.

Scrub JayFairly social, scrub jays have been known to approach humans and even accept seeds or peanuts from someone’s hand. Another well-known antic of the curious bird is to fly right up to a person out for a walk and in some cases actually land on their head. While startling to one unfamiliar with the birds, it is a harmless and even endearing quirk.

Charlotte County has been implementing a test plan approved by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service to preserve these lovely birds. Because continuing development has been encroaching on their natural habitat, the County has created a reserve of approximately 4,500 acres using the modest mitigation fees collected from building permits. Although the endangerment of the scrub jay complicates development for most of the counties where the bird is found, it is encouraging to know that concerned parties have taken steps to protect these beautiful and curious creatures.

Scrub Jay sightings are only one of the many joys of living in Southwest Florida. For real estate listings of homes, condos and land for sale in Southwest Florida, please visit our Suncoasteam website, or call us at 941-235-7474 or email: sales@avalonsuncoast.com.

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