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Taxonomy: Order Passeriformes >> Family Corvidae >> Genus Aphelocoma

Florida Scrub-Jay (Unique ID: 1350)
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Species: Florida Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens)
Location: ---, Brevard county, Florida, United States
Age: adult     Plumage: basic/year-round     Activity: perching/standing
Sex: ---     Visibility: full body     Quantity: single
Special Traits: endemic
Photographer: Judd Patterson     Date: February 22, 2009
Equipment: Canon EOS 40D and Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS     Megapixels: 7.7

Notes: A Florida Scrub-Jay on the very edge of its habitat...overlooking new homes in Brevard county, FL. Please read on...

Florida is the land of blues. Blue waters, blue skies, and the gorgeous blues of the Florida Scrub-Jay. As the only bird found exclusively in Florida, it is a treasure that comes with a responsibility to preserve. It was listed as federally threatened on June 3, 1987. A survey in 1993 found 4,000 pairs in Florida. Unfortunately in many areas the news has worsened, with drops of 30-50% in several counties. A primary reason for the decline is a loss of its preferred habitat: open flatwoods of oak or sand pine scrub (short trees less than 10 feet tall). These areas are easy to clear for houses/businesses, and we've done that rather well this past century. We are now at a point where many scrub-jay populations are small, isolated from their neighbors, and constantly under threat from outside development...a recipe for continued population declines as we move forward. We need to get serious about ways to create habitat buffers and corridors to increase the viability of these isolated populations. It's painful to imagine Florida, which is known worldwide for its birdlife, without its one and only endemic bird.

Note: I didn't need any peanuts or other food to entice the bird into this photograph. I guess he knew it might be helpful to his cause. :-)

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