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23, 2011 Trailday Newsletter
Hello Trailblazers and Friends,
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.
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
(See below Latest Statewide Scrub-Jay Survey Results)
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Trailday-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
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
Trailday is always extra special when Judy
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
Please do RSVP however, so we can prepare accordingly.
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Statewide Scrub-Jay Survey Results
Many have asked what is the current status of
the Florida Scrub-Jay in terms of numbers these days.
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.
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Contributions To The Trail
Dan Cleary has been building
benches and end tables for the trail. Beautiful and so needed!
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.
Florida Scrub-Jay Trail Bird Checklist Below).
always welcomes local talent and we are proud to carry a new line
of note cards featuring native wildflowers by photographer Winnie
is working on a
line of Florida Scrub-Jay cards for us that she took on
The Florida Scrub-Jay Trail. Welcome Winnie!
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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 or (352)-429-5566.
The Florida Scrub-Jay Trail Bird Checklist
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
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.
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"Show us your Florida Scrub-Jay Trail T-Shirt" contest
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
Winner will receive a package of Florida Scrub-Jay Trail
Send photo to .
Last year's winners were shown in Italy and Australia!
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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 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.
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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.
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
Butterfly Workshop with Marc Minno,
10, 2011- 9am-3pm
Marc Minno is the author of Butterfly
Gardening in Florida and many many other books.
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.
and RSVP e-mail or
Workshop will close once filled,
and no later than August 26th, whichever comes first.
Home Grown Herbs and Spices Workshop
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.
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.
will open August 1, 2011. Cost $35.00, space is limited.
application and RSVP e-mail or
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 or
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 or call (352)-429-5566
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If you or anyone you know can
assist in obtaining the following items,
we would greatly appreciate
- 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.
please complete the and return with your payment.
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
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 .
include your contact information and when the photos were taken.
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