Florida scrub jay


The Florida scrub jay only lives in the Florida scrub. Frequent fires maintain a low cover of myrtle and Chapman's oak that provide winter food. Unfortunately, much of the scrub habitat is being directly lost to development and indirectly lost to fire suppression near developments. Florida's foresters are making efforts to help communities near scrub ecosystems understand that carefully controlled burning will both protect their homes from dangerous wild fire and will maintain the ecosystem homes for the special plants and animals that live in scrub communities.

Scrub jays are similar in size and shape to blue jays, but they don't have a crest of feathers on their head and the upper and lower body is mostly light gray. They are very social and live in family groups that share in lookout and young rearing duties. They are also known for socializing with humans by begging for food and stealing shinny objects. Feeding scrub jays is not a good idea because it can cause the young to hatch before their natural insect food supply is available in the spring.

Photo credit: Robert Owens

 

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