Definitely our most famous animal at Archbold Biological Station, but with good reason…
Florida Scrub-Jays are special for several reasons:
- They are the only bird species that lives ONLY in Florida.
- They are the only bird species that lives ONLY in scrub habitat.
- They are super smart. Each year they bury 5,000-8,000 acorns in the sand and re-locate over half of them in the winter for food.
- They are one of Archbold’s best studied organisms. We’ve been studying them since 1969. This is the longest continuous study of a population of marked birds in North America!
- They are in danger of extinction. Mainly because the scrub habitat they depend upon is being converted to houses and citrus groves. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature reports there are only 4,000-6,000 thought to be left in the world.
Thanks to the large amount of scrub we preserve and burn regularly, Archbold has one of the five largest remaining Florida Scrub-Jay populations.
Written and photographed by Evan Barrientos – Environmental Education Intern at Archbold Biological Station