Jay Watch Report 2023: A Letter from Audrey DeRose-Wilson

Jay Watch co-coordinator and Audubon Florida's director of bird conservation looks back on another successful year.

I will look back at this Jay Watch season with a sense of pride in the work of our volunteers and also with nostalgia: 2023 marked Jacqui Sulek’s last season as the co-coordinator of Jay Watch! Jacqui’s determination to not only protect the Florida Scrub-Jay but inspire others to do the same charts a course for a more resilient future for this colorful, endemic species. We are all grateful. Scorching summer temperatures didn’t dissuade our Jay Watchers from dedicating 1,050 hours to document 235 scrub-jay family groups. In this issue, we detail what it takes to be a Jay Watch ambassador, working with students and the next generation of scrub-jay conservation leaders to protect these birds now and into the future. As in past years, state-owned lands form an important population bulwark for the jays as a whole, especially areas like the Cross Florida Greenway triangle that are home to mid-size populations of jays.

This letter appeared in the 2023 Jay Watch Report.

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