Sunday, January 06, 2008

No Say's. Scrub Jays, Though.

Paul and I headed to try and check off the Say's Phoebe for the New Year's list but it was no where to be found. Most likely hiding in the trees so early in the day. We decided to head around the end of Ranch Road to see if we could find any sparrows. No luck there, either.

While we were searching, we passed the usually reliable spot for Scrub Jays but they were not there on our initial pass. I mentioned that I hadn't seen them for a while. There was a report that one or two were actually found dead recently and it appeared to be the fault of humans.

We ended our rounds and headed off separately as I had to head back home. I decided to swing by the Jay spot one more time and saw a bird on the electric wires. I stopped and got out for a closer look. It was a Jay!

Just then, one flew out to greet me personally.

Florida Scrub Jay

One of the first things I noticed was that this particular bird was not banded. A majority of the Florida Scrub Jays throughout the state have been banded for study purposes in attempts to save this endangered species.

Moments later, the entire family began to show up a provided excellent photo opportunities. The color-coded bands are very visible on this bird.

Florida Scrub Jay

Florida Scrub Jays are one of the friendliest birds you will find. I love their curiosity and lack of fear. Of course, that can lead to danger when humans with bad intentions show up as has happened to this family.

Florida Scrub Jay

I heard an Eastern Screech Owl around the corner and figured it was Paul playing a tape to bring in some sparrows. He arrived soon after and said he wasn't playing the tape. So Screech Owls are here, too. Excellent.

Paul joined me at the fence for some photos of his own as the Jays continued their poses and fed on the ground at our feet.

Florida Scrub Jay

Hopefully this family will continue to thrive and avoid those wishing them harm. I still say that they should be the state bird of Florida.

Florida Scrub Jay

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