• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Florida Scrub Jay - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Scottfla72
Oscar Scherer State Park, Florida, US, October 2005

Alternative name: Florida Jay

Aphelocoma coerulescens

Identification

This jay shows only shades of light gray and blue:

Adult

  • Long blue tail
  • Blue undertail coverts
  • Blue wings
  • Blue neck and head
  • Whitish supercilium that connects over the bill as a white forehead
  • White stripes on the throat
  • Pale gray mantle
  • Pale gray underside
  • Legs and bill are dark

Juvenile

  • Lacks blue on head and neck and wing coverts
  • Darker on the back

Similar Species

  • Within range, the most similar species is the Blue Jay, which has shorter tail, blue back at all ages, white wing-bars, blue crest, and black markings in the head and thoat areas.
  • Very similar to the other Scrub-Jays, but they are all in the western U.S.

Distribution

Mid to south parts of the Florida peninsula (more to the Atlantic than the Gulf side) where it is common but localized.

Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species.
Has been considered conspecific with Island Scrub Jay, California Scrub Jay and Woodhouse's Scrub Jay in the past.

Habitat

Scrublands, especially with scrub oaks rather than pines.

Behaviour

An inquisitive and intelligent species, the most striking attribute of the Florida Scrub Jay's behavior is its remarkable tameness. Scrub Jays show almost no fear of people and will even take peanuts from people's hands and lips. Scrub Jays will also steal silverware and other shiny objects in a manner similar to the American Crow.

Diet

Omnivorous. Feeds on berries, acorns, pine seeds, arthropods like grasshoppers, wasps or bees, small vertebrates like snakes and lizards, nestling birds, eggs, mice and carrion.

Breeding

Breeding seaons from March to June. Pairs stay together several years in their territory. Helpers usually involved (yearling males or femals from previous breeding season). The bulky nest is made of twigs and placed around 1m above the ground on the main stem of a scrub oak. Lays 1 - 4 eggs.

References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2013. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.8., with updates to August 2013. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553507

Recommended Citation

External Links


Top