The Florida Scrub Jay – The Blue Little Goblin From Florida

The Florida Scrub Jay is a bird you only find in Florida. Because of this, bird friends travel from all across the country to observe this unique species.

In South Venice, chances are high you will meet this bold and curious bird, that can be hand tame in areas, where there is contact with people. Only minutes away from our Villa Happy Gator, Lemon Bay Preserve is the perfect place to spot some Scrub Jays. Also our Shamrock Park is a well known habitat for those little guys.

The Florida Scrub Jay needs scrub habitat, which has dwindled considerably during the past decades and made it an endangered species. Fortunately there is a strong effort to maintain the remaining scrubs to protect the threatened bird. The estimated population is about 8000 adult birds.

Interesting Facts

• With the Florida Scrub Jay, breeding is teamwork. Most offsprings are staying with their parents to help them raise the young for at least one year.

• Individual members of a Florida Scrub-Jay family take turns watching for hawks while the rest of the family looks for food. If a dangerous hawk is seen, the sentinel gives an alarm call and everyone dives for cover. A different call alerts the family to snakes and other dangers on the ground, and the entire family will join in mobbing a terrestrial predator.

• When not persecuted, and especially when provided with food, the Florida Scrub-Jay becomes very tame. It will readily perch on a person’s hand, arm, or head to get food. (We experienced this at Lemon Bay Preserve – see pictures!)

• The oldest recorded Florida Scrub-Jay was at least 15 years

• Florida Scrub Jays glean insects from trees, shrubs, and ground and harvest and hide (cache) thousands of acorns and other nuts. They hold food under feet to peck at it.