Featured Photo – Florida Scrub Jay

Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) - Oscar Scherer State Park, Venice, Florida

As I continue to plan for my upcoming trip to Florida in January and February, I am spending time going back through my files and finding gaps that need filled.  The only endemic bird to Florida is the Florida Scrub Jay and I only have a few photos of this cool bird.  This species is found in the few remaining patches of scrub in the central portion of the peninsula.  I have grown up seeing them in a number of occasions but only photographing them on a handful of occasions.  I dedicated some time to photographing one social group at Oscar Scherer State Park a while back and got some great images.  Now I plan to return to a few other locations and supplement these photographs with images of the bird’s habitat as well as some video and audio recordings of these incredible birds.

Florida Scrub Jays have been well studied over the years and they demonstrate some really cool social behaviors.  First off, they are cooperative breeders where one year old birds assist their parents in raising the current brood rather than breeding themselves.  They are extremely curious birds and I actually had the above bird sitting on my head at one point.

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  1. Sure is a pretty bird! From the picture the bird looks lighter and more teal than the scrub jays here in CA. Are they different?

  2. @Amber – They are different species and recent studies have also shown potential for splitting the Western Scrub Jay into two species which would give us a total of four species including the Island Scrub Jay found on a single island off the coast of California.

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