TAVARES — The Lake County Parks & Trails Division and Public Lands Management Section are in the beginning stages of conducting a countywide survey of the threatened Florida Scrub-jay and are asking for the public’s help in finding this only species of bird endemic to the state.
The public is encouraged to assist in this monumental task by reporting sightings of the Scrub-jay by filling out the online Web form. The Web form asks scrub-jay spotters to identify the location of the spotting, as well as some brief contact information. After receiving reported sightings, Lake County park rangers will verify the sightings and add it to their list of scrub-jay habitats.
“It is important that we identify new populations of the Florida Scrub-jay to ensure Lake County’s and other agencies’ management efforts are working,” said Park Ranger Gallus Quigley.
Florida Scrub-jays are friendly birds that mate for life and live in multigenerational families in a very specific habitat. A few scrub-jay identification tips include:
• 11 inches in length
• Black sturdy bill
• Grayish “eyebrow” and dark eye line
• Blue head, rump, wings and tail
• Gray-brown back
• Grayish white throat with diffuse streaking and dark lower border
• Gray-brown under parts
• Dark legs, may be banded; color-band combinations are unique to each bird
• The only other large, long-tailed, blue bird within the range of the Florida Scrub-jay is the Blue Jay. The Blue Jay has a crest and white patches in the wings and tail.
For more information about the Florida Scrub-jay survey, call the Parks & Trails Division at (352) 253-4950 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.