When I first moved to Florida, I thought surely some of the Blue Jays in our local preserves were actually Scrub Jays – they just looked so much gentler and prettier than Blue Jays in New York! But I was wrong . . .
This is a post about the REAL Florida Scrub Jays, and all birds pictured in this post are genuine Florida Scrub Jays 🙂We had a chance to observe the behavior of these beautiful birds up close and personal at Merritt Island NWR recently. As we walked along the Scrub Jay Trail, several of them suddenly popped up from their hiding places in the scrub, and began performing aerial feats, posing endlessly for our cameras!Merritt Island NWR boasts a wonderful, but rare Scrub Oak habitat for these endangered birds, as described in this interesting Fact Sheet from the US Fish & Wildlife service. More about Florida Scrub Jays can be found on these short episodes of BirdNote.Sadly, the Florida Scrub Jay is classified as Threatened according to the Endangered Species Act (fewer than 8000 exist). As with many of our beautiful feathered friends, its major threat is the loss of habitat – for the Scrub Jay, the Florida oak scrub (Merritt Island NWR site).
See also this interesting Audubon article about Scrb Jays and climate change.