home news gallery about media contact us store
Florida Scrub-Jay Trail News

News Archives

Back to News

The Trailhead is located in Lake County, Florida. map

For more information, please contact info@scrubjaytrail.org
(352) 429-5566

sat - wed : 8:00-5:00

Email photo contributions
of wildlife or plants seen
on the trail to this address: photos@scrubjaytrail.org



July 23, 2011 Trailday Newsletter
Hello Trailblazers and Friends,

Eastern Coachwhip Eastern Coachwhip

Another reason Gopher Tortoises are so important,
they share their home with other creatures, such as this beautiful "Eastern Coachwhip".
photos: Jana Harris - June 6, 2011

We thought last year was the hottest summer on record....well, I think that is about to change. In spite of the weather, volunteers continue to work on the Trail, and we thank you for all of your contributions.

Hightlights of the Trail

Although we have seen no Scrub-jay juveniles from this year's survey at the Trailhead, we are delighted to have an additional female that has joined our family group as of last month. She has been laying low for the past couple of weeks and although it would be unlikely for her to have a nest so late in the season we learned a long time ago to believe in miracles and never say never!

The rains have been arriving with a bit more regularity and the jays have been gathering last years acorns as well as this year's young green acorn crop. The leaves on the trees are already starting to change color and the monarda (bee balm) is beginning to bloom. All early signs of Fall.....how nice that would be!

Many of you have been involved with the Jay Watch Surveys throughout the state again this year and we thank you for that. Thanks to a partnership between the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Archbold Biological Station, and the Nature Conservancy for guiding this program into another season.
(See below Latest Statewide Scrub-Jay Survey Results)

Back to Top of Page

Trailday-Christmas in July

Christmas in July

"Breakfast treats to start the day with."
photo: Judy Clark

Saturday, the 23rd from 8am-11am we will be checking the irrigation lines in Eagle Scout Steven Scott's section and repairing and/or placing lines.

We'll be celebrating Christmas in July in support of the Florida Scrub-Jay Trail and the volunteers. Items that are needed are: coffee, both regular and decaf (preferably organic fair trade), gas cards for mowers, paper towels (select a size), Publix gift cards and a 4-6 passenger electric golf cart for guests who would like to participate but can't get around as well as others.

Trailday is always extra special when Judy Clark creates one of her themed specialties like the NWF Backyard Campout S'mores stuffed brownies last month, mmm...mmm good!

We will supply bottled water, coffee/tea and cold lemonade. Feel free to contribute to the breakfast table if you'd like, however it is not required to participate.
Please do RSVP however, so we can prepare accordingly.
info@scrubjaytrail.org  or  (352)-429-5566

Back to Top of Page

Latest Statewide Scrub-Jay Survey Results

Many have asked what is the current status of the Florida Scrub-Jay in terms of numbers these days.

Florida Scrub-jay

"Florida Scrub-jay "
photo: Natalie Roberts

In the latest report, submitted in May 2011, State wide assessment of Florida Scrub-Jays on managed areas: A comparison of current populations to the results of the 1992-93 survey by Raoul Boughton and Reed Bowman, of Archbold Biological Station have gone through great lengths to calculate those numbers. Although their report was based on managed lands, they were able to guesstimate the number of family groups including unmanaged lands at 2,400 family groups. The average family group is 2.8 birds. So we are looking at roughly 6,720 Florida scrub-jays remaining in the state compared to approximately 10,000 scrub-jays when the last statewide survey was taken in 1992-1993.

Back to Top of Page

Contributions To The Trail

Dan Cleary has been building benches and end tables for the trail. Beautiful and so needed! Thank you.

Rich Whalen thank you for two beautiful custom wood cabinets for the Trailhouse. One will be used for displaying some of the unique treasures found during The Lake County Adopt -a- Roadway cleanups.

Thank you Enrique Ortiz for donating a table top propane heater. Great for our music events during the Winter. We'll think of you.

Jana Harris has been adding a variety of pollinator plants (particularly for Monarchs) to the Craig Tufts Pollinator Garden along with monitoring the Bluebird Trail and contributing with photos to the gallery section of the website. Thank you Jana.

An anonymous donor generously contributed several pairs of binoculars for our educational program Binoculars for Junior Birders under the direction of John Thomton.
(See Florida Scrub-Jay Trail Bird Checklist Below).

The Trailhouse always welcomes local talent and we are proud to carry a new line of note cards featuring native wildflowers by photographer Winnie Gustafson. (www.winnieg.com)
Winnie is working on a line of Florida Scrub-Jay cards for us that she took on The Florida Scrub-Jay Trail. Welcome Winnie!

Back to Top of Page

More Happenings at the Trail

Eagle Scout Project-The Giving Garden Raised Beds
Nick Bains has been working long and hard on his Eagle Project with the most recent progress being the delivery of the planting soil mixture. Sincere thanks goes to Hillary Peat and Boykin Construction for their generous support of Nicks endeavor. Such an important project for the community Nick. Thank you!

The Giving Garden
This organic garden has been designed in partnership with Nick Bains, The Florida Scrub-Jay Consortium and B.B. Brown's Gardens to give back to the South Lake community in the way of food and education. If you are interested in learning more about organic gardening or someone you know is in need of fresh produce, we would like to hear from you. Preparing the soil and planting of Fall crops are currently underway. Volunteers interested in working in The Giving Garden should contact Cathy Brown at  info@scrubjaytrail.org  or  (352)-429-5566.

The Florida Scrub-Jay Trail Bird Checklist
John Thomton has spent years on the Trail looking and listening for birds as he compiled a checklist for birders who visit The Florida Scrub-Jay Trail. It is in production now and soon will be available to all visitors. Very Exciting! Thank you John for your expertise and hours of dedication.

Visitors to The Trail
Recently we hosted visitors to the Trail from far and wide to catch a glimpse of our beloved Florida Scrub-Jay. Guests came from Delaware, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ontario Canada, Switzerland, Michigan, Ohio, Washington State, California, New York, Nova Scotia Canada, and London England. We thank you for making a special trip to The Florida Scrub-Jay Trail and look forward to seeing you again on your next visit to Florida.

Wildlife on The Trail
As the Trail restoration matures, we are seeing more Northern Bobwhite along with a couple of   foxes regularly. This is not a great pairing but comes with the territory. We have a family of sandhill cranes, baby included, that have been enjoying their stroll on the Trail each day and our gopher tortoise population continues to thrive.

Back to Top of Page

"Show us your Florida Scrub-Jay Trail T-Shirt" contest

John Thomton Dan Cleary

John Thomton in Malta 2010 (left) and Dan Cleary in Australia 2010 (right)

Next time your out and about wearing your Florida Scrub-Jay Trail T-shirt, send us a picture of you in it. An independent panel of judges will be choosing a winner from the most unique location whether it be your own hometown or around the world.
Winner will receive a package of Florida Scrub-Jay Trail merchandise.

Send photo to  photos@scrubjaytrail.org. Last year's winners were shown in Italy and Australia!

Back to Top of Page

Florida Scrub-Jay Online Store

Many of you are asking how you can purchase a Florida Scrub-Jay Trail T-Shirt or front license plate your car. Simply visit this website's "Store" section on the main menu bar!

Florida Scrub-jay T-shirt Florida Scrub-jay License Plate Florida Scrub-jay Mug

The Florida Scrub-Jay Consortium contributes a portion of the proceeds from the purchase of the license plates towards the Florida Scrub-Jay Education Fund. For T-shirts, coffee mugs, mouse pads etc. visit our store today.

We thank you for your support.

Back to Top of Page

Upcoming Guests/ Presenters/ Workshops

Guided Tour of The Florida Scrub-Jay Trail, August 6th from 8am-11am
In this free 3 hour program, guests will begin with a cold glass of lemonade as they learn about the status of the Florida scrub-jay and its habitat. Tour the Florida Scrub-Jay Trail; observe a family of resident jays; learn about the native plants of the Florida Scrub and proper planting techniques. Leave a token of you visit behind, if you choose to participate in the planting of a scrub-oak on the Trail, and find out how you can contribute to the preservation of the species on your own property.
This program is open to all adults and children who share a love of the outdoors, birds and wildlife. Reservations for the stewardship program are required to assure a spot.
Call (352)-429-5566 or e-mail  info@scrubjaytrail.org

Marc Minno's Butterfly Gardening in Florida

Butterfly Workshop with Marc Minno,
September 10, 2011- 9am-3pm

Marc Minno is the author of Butterfly Gardening in Florida and many many other books.
For the past 11 years you have asked us for this workshop! Marc recently received the Southern Lepidopterists' Society John Abbott Award for outstanding achievement in expanding knowledge of Lepidoptera.

This is a once in a lifetime workshop featuring Marc Minno! Starting inside with butterfly biology and ecology, Marc will lead the group outside on The Florida Scrub-Jay Trail to identify butterflies and caterpillars as well as discuss how to attract butterflies to your property. You will participate in tagging and releasing Monarchs, as well as other butterflies in the garden. How to rear and monitor butterflies as well as how to properly make a collection of butterflies, moths and other insects will be demonstrated.

Bring a brown bagged lunch and enjoy time with Marc as he autographs his books and signs his quick identification guides which will be available for sale.
Registration will open July 25, 2011. Cost $25.00, space is limited.
For application and RSVP e-mail  info@scrubjaytrail.org  or call  (352)-429-5566.
Workshop will close once filled, and no later than August 26th, whichever comes first.

Lei Lani Davis' Herbs and Spices Workshop

Home Grown Herbs and Spices Workshop
October 8, 2011- 10am-2pm

Back by popular demand join Lei Lani Davis as she illustrates how to utilize the herbs we all grow in our gardens during this hands-on workshop at
B.B.Brown's Gardens, Clermont.

The workshop will begin with general information about herbs and what herbs grow best in which temperatures, soil and PH. Like a progressive dinner, we will move towards which part of the plant to use and when fresh vs. dried is desired, along with ways to dry and freeze herbs........Try your hand at making tea bags, dried herb mixture rubs, taste different vinegars and discuss when you might use one vs. another. Herbs are also being used more and more for health and medicinal purposes. Discussions and references along with reminders of cautions will all be included.
Registration will open August 1, 2011. Cost $35.00, space is limited.
For application and RSVP e-mail  info@bbbrowns.com  or call  (352)-429-5566

Water, Wings and Wild Things, Polk Nature Fest- October 8, 2011
Once again The Florida Scrub-Jay Trail will be exhibiting at this fun festival at the Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland. Interact with native animals, learn how to landscape with native plants, enjoy live music and delicious food.
If you would like to help with our booth contact  info@scrubjaytrail.org  or call  (352)-429-5566. We work in shifts leaving plenty of time to stroll around. If you have not had the opportunity to help out in the past, we will pair you with someone who can teach you. This opportunity fills up fast, so RSVP for your morning or afternoon slot soon.

Scout Projects and Summer programs
If your organization is interested in becoming involved with the Florida Scrub-Jay Trail and leaving your mark for this important species, please contact us for a list of projects at  info@scrubjaytrail.org  or call  (352)-429-5566

Back to Top of Page

Final Notes

Equipment Needs
If you or anyone you know can assist in obtaining the following items,
we would greatly appreciate it.
- A front end loader for the tractor is needed to continue with the Trail restoration
- A 4-6 passenger golf cart type vehicle to assist those guests who cannot walk well on the guided tours

Thank you to those who have renewed your annual membership or have become a new member. With increased participation in our programs and activities, we are able to make a bigger impact. It is through your voluntary efforts and active support that this growth is made possible. Members like you provide the primary source of funding to continue to educate others about the Florida scrub-jay and its habitat.

For a membership , please complete the application form and return with your payment.
As a member, you will receive the following benefits:
10% discount on plants and merchandise at B.B. Brown's Gardens
Invitation to special events for members only
10% discount on workshops held at the Trailhead

The mission of the Florida Scrub-Jay Consortium is to preserve the Florida Scrub-Jay from extinction through preservation, restoration and education. Your support is very important to us and is vital for continuing our mission.

Thank you for your photo contributions to the website. Sandra Groeneveld does a wonderful job posting them in the Gallery Section as well as throughout the site. If you would like to contribute your talents please do so at  photos@scrubjaytrail.org.
Please include your contact information and when the photos were taken.

Back to Top of Page