Audubon Florida coordinates the Jay Watch community 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 45 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 community scientists like you, your family, and your friends.
Remarkably, in just 2022 alone, 97 volunteers invested over 985 hours performing field surveys across the state.
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 our onsite training sessions held annually across the Florida peninsula. Contact Audubon's Jacqui Sulek for more information about our trainings.
- Watch our presentations on Florida Scrub-Jay Ecology and monitoring protocols.
- Join a Jay Watch survey team: contact Audubon's Audrey DeRose-Wilson
- Sponsors of this program help us train volunteers, support our survey teams, and analyze and compile statewide survey data for use by site managers, wildlife agencies, and researchers.
Jay Watch Reports
Check out the latest Jay Watch reports in the Audubon Florida Publications Library.
Audubon Jay Watch Partners to Restore Rare Scrub Habitat
"Timberrrr" calls were heard near and far on the morning of January 9 in the Tiger Branch area of Highlands Hammock State Park.
Important Bird Areas
Florida's Important Bird Area Program supports the persistence of our state's native avifauna and native habitats through sound land management, habitat preservation, and the work of volunteer citizen scientists.
Audubon Jay Watch Annual Report
Find back issues of the Audubon Jay Watch annual report here.
How you can help, right now
Donate to Audubon
Help secure the future for birds at risk from climate change, habitat loss and other threats. Your support will power our science, education, advocacy and on-the-ground conservation efforts.
Become a Monthly Donor
Donating monthly is flexible, easy and convenient and makes you a champion birds can count on, no matter the season.
Florida's birds and wildlife need your time and energy. Learn how you can become a citizen scientist or a volunteer at one of our nature centers today.