Disappearing Scrub Jays of Florida – 01/30/2008

  • December 10, 2013 at 3:21 am #1725

    Disappearing Scrub Jays of Florida – from Marguerite

    A couple years back I suddenly started finding Red-Wing Blackbirds dead all over the place. Most of them looked like they landed on the ground then died, staying in the same position like something just stopped them from moving anything, and eyes ALWAYS open. It got to be very strange after the first 5 I found on the same day and those numbers only got worse in the days following and continued for a month or more.

    I found them in the pastures, and even perched on tree limbs and other vegetation and fence wires as well! Bizarre and frightening to say the very least! :o(

    There’s never been anything I could find online about this happening, no comments from authorities or wildlife journals or blogs but I know it wasn’t just right here on my own acreage since I found them as far as 69 miles from here in the same condition and often times all along the roadsides whilst driving in the country.

    The other very peculiar thing was that I never found them to have been eaten after death – by anything… EVER! They were always in the same exact condition they were when they died and nothing seemed to want to touch them, not even the small critters that usually clean things up, and believe me, we have HEAPS of nasty fly’s from all the cattle & livestock here in Nebraska! They land and lay their eggs on anything, dead OR alive but nearing death. They’re just thick but not one bird was ever seen with anything on or around it.

    I noticed too that even after they’d been gone for quite some time the natural process wasn’t taking place for decomposing but they seemed almost like they’d been preserved in some way – and am convinced that’s exactly why nothing wanted to go anywhere near them!

    It was quite startling frankly, and where I used to see these beautiful birds everywhere all the time, just thick wherever you looked, I now rarely, very rarely in fact, ever see even one.

    Makes me wonder just what is in those ct’s (chemtrails) on the days when the air smells like a Veternarian’s office, and during that period of time there were many days that smell was in the air out here in the middle of nowhere, and certainly nowhere near an actual Vet’s office.

    God Bless us, one and all… we need Him now more than ever!

    The Disappearing Scrub-Jays of Florida ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Florida, January 24, 2008 (ENS) – Populations of threatened Florida scrub-jays are declining, according to the latest annual Nature Conservancy study of jay populations across Central Florida. The scrub-jay is the only bird found only in Florida, but these small, light blue birds are disappearing at 40 percent of their population sites, volunteer jay counters observed.

    Results of a sixth-annual summer survey of Florida scrub-jays along the Lake Wales Ridge were reported recently at a volunteer recognition event at Historic Bok Sanctuary.
    Statewide, virtually all of the large populations still occur only on the Lake Wales Ridge, Ocala National Forest, and on Kennedy Space Center or Cape Canaveral Air Station.

    The Jay Watch results were gathered from 41 sites in 11 counties by 165 volunteers donating 1,624 hours of service.

    Among the 15 Jay Watch sites first surveyed in 2002-2004, populations have declined at 40 percent of sites, stayed the same at 40 percent and increased at 20 percent, the volunteers noted.
    Two-thirds of populations declined at 26 other Jay Watch sites, some of which were also covered during the 1992-93 statewide survey.

    Florida scrub-jays – friendly birds that mate for life and live in multigenerational families in very specific habitat – will abandon an oak scrub habitat if it is not properly managed, such as when the trees grow too large due to lack of fire, the study shows.
    The data includes information on habitat and vegetation which has been shared with site managers to better inform their critical management decisions.

    “Management actions informed by the results are a positive outcome of the survey,” said Cheryl Millett, the Conservancy’s biologist who coordinates Jay Watch.
    “Unfortunately, seeing the results of management can take time. It can be five years before burned areas are suitable for scrub-jays,” she said. “In the meantime, the dedication of our volunteers is inspiring.”

    In the 2007 Nature Conservancy Jay Watch annual report, Reed Bowman, Ph.D., associate research biologist at the Archbold Biological Station says, “Although jay populations fared relatively well during 2006, at many sites 2007 was a bust. At Archbold Biological Station during 2006, over 100 juveniles survived to July. During that same period in 2007, only 18 survived. This pattern was repeated at many sites on the Lake Wales Ridge; juvenile production was much lower in 2007.”
    Florida scrub jays mate for life. (Photo courtesy FWS)

    While the scrub-jay is Florida’s only endemic bird, Florida’s official state bird is the mockingbird. Attempts to have that status assigned to the Florida scrub-jay have not yet been successful.
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service North Florida Field Office says the major cause of the decline of the Florida scrub-jay has been habitat destruction by humans that probably began in the mid-1800s when scrub was cleared for towns, citrus groves, and pastures.

    The destruction of scrub accelerated throughout the 1900s, especially after 1950, for the development of air fields, phosphate mines, pine plantations, military installations, super highways, mobile home parks, shopping malls, rocket-launch complexes, tourist resorts, golf courses, and theme parks.
    Fire suppression accompanying human settlement further reduced usable habitat throughout the species’ original range

    Still, said Bowman, “we have reason to hope.”

    “New populations are being established through vigorous management efforts,” he said. Habitats are being restored, and jays are being translocated to build large, healthy populations that have the potential to rescue populations that were on the verge of extinction. We need as many voices as possible to heighten awareness of the plight of our scrub species. The volunteers of Jay Watch are the loudest singers.”

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