Audubon Florida coordinates the Jay Watch citizen science program statewide. We train and support volunteers to conduct scientific surveys that measure annual nesting success and count the total number of Florida Scrub-Jays at more than 50 sites in 19 counties. The success of the Jay Watch program, and the program’s contributions to the recovery of Florida Scrub-Jays, depends upon dedicated volunteer citizen scientists like you, your family, and your friends.
Remarkably, in just 2015 alone, 277 volunteers invested over 3,000 hours sharpening their skills in onsite trainings and performing field surveys across the state. Click here to download Audubon's 2015 Jay Watch Report for more information on this important citizen science program.
Florida Scrub-Jays: Nowhere Else on Earth
The Florida Scrub-Jay is our state’s only endemic bird species, found nowhere else in the world. It was listed as federally Threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) under the Endangered Species Act in 1987, largely due to loss of its native scrub habitat and decades of fire suppression that allowed the scrub to become overgrown and unsuitable for Scrub-Jays. While mowing of too-tall oak scrub can open bare sand patches needed by the jays for predator detection and for caching acorns, fire is still needed to remove debris left on the ground after mowing. And some of the rarer scrub plants require fire to set seed and reproduce.
Just how threatened are Florida Scrub-Jays?
The state’s population of Florida Scrub-Jays is estimated to have declined by 90% since the early 1800s. Between 1993 and 2010 our state’s Scrub-Jay population declined another 26%, mostly on public lands where they are generally better protected.
What are you waiting for? Get Involved!
- Attend one of nine Jay Watch training sessions in 2016. Please see the flyer for a location near you. Contact Audubon's Jacqui Sulek with questions.
- Join a Jay Watch survey team: contact Audubon's Marianne Korosy
- Donate to Jay Watch - support a program that directly trains volunteers, supports survey teams, analyzes, and compiles statewide survey data for use by site managers, wildlife agencies, and researchers.
Training Locations and Information:
Trainings will be held in the morning. Contact the person listed for each training to register or for more information. Trainings include an overview of Florida Scrub-Jay behavior and field practice with the Scrub-Jay mapping and survey protocol.
- Saturday, May 7 — Allen David Broussard Catfish Creek State Park and FFA Leadership Training Center, Polk County Contact: Jacqui Sulek
- Saturday, May 7 — Duette Preserve, Manatee County Contact: Jacqui Sulek
- Saturday, May 14 — Lyonia Preserve, Volusia County Contact: Jacqui Sulek
- Wednesday, May 18 — Tippecanoe I Preserve, Charlotte County Contact: Jacqui Sulek
- Saturday, May 21 — Cross Florida Greenway, Marion County Contact: Jacqui Sulek
- Saturday, May 21 — Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Martin County Contact: Jacqui Sulek
- Saturday, June 4—Royce Ranch/FWC, Highlands County Contact: Jacqui Sulek Jacqui Sulek
- Thursday, June 9 — Hickey’s Creek Mitigation Park and Caloosahatchee Regional Park, Lee County Contact: Jacqui Sulek
- Saturday, June 11—Savannas Preserve State Park, St. Lucie County Contact: Jacqui Sulek