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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



March 24, 2007 Trailday Newsletter                       see more photos of the day

 Rosary Pea - Click here    
For more information at Wikipedia.

Laurel Temmen teaching us about
this invasive vine.
Hello Trailblazers,
The Scrub-Jay Trailday coming up this Saturday, March 24th from 8:00am-11:00am will mark another milestone in the development of the Florida Scrub-Jay Trail, as restoration begins on phase II.
          read the article in the Lake Sentinel
As many of you know, the Florida Scrub-Jay Consortium received a grant from U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife program which will facilitate the completion of 7 additional acres, providing over 1500 scrub oaks and bushes, and a low volume irrigation system.

The first task will be to start the process of removing exotic invasive plant material, namely
Rosary Pea. Wildlife Biologist Laurel Temmen, with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, will discuss this aggressive vine, which threatens Florida landscapes, and will explain the methods used to eradicate it. The Trail will be broken down into sections and we will then begin the removal process. Bring shovels, clippers, loppers, gloves, hat, and long sleeve shirts.

Birders are encouraged to bring binoculars and cameras. This portion of the trail overlooks the marsh and a wide variety of birds can be seen up close including wood storks, wood ducks, sand hill cranes, bald eagles, warblers, and of course, Florida scrub-jays.

A continental breakfast will be served, as usual, and anything you would like to contribute will be gladly eaten. Please RSVP if you plan on attending.

Winter has passed, and now it’s time to get a jump on the growing season. We need to step up the number of restoration activities to assure the completion of Phase II by summer’s end. Your help is greatly needed on the Trail and in the recruitment of new Trailblazers.

Be sure to check out the website at www.scrubjaytrail.org. David Mazurek and Sandra
Groeneveld have been doing a great job of building the site. If you would like to contribute
photographs of wildlife or plants seen on the Trail, email them to photos@scrubjaytrail.org. Please limit size of photos to 2MB.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday.          Back to Top of Page

"By" and "Who" News
Our resident scrub-jays at the Trail...
Our most exciting news is that "By" and "Who" ( "Who" , our latest gal scrub-jay) are starting to make their nest. We had a rare opportunity to stay around the nursery today and observe these two amusingly funny creatures. To hear a female "hiccup" is very rare. Rare only in the sense that we do not live in their environment to hear it. Two weeks ago she started "hiccuping" and vocalizing every day or so, but just a little. She would come to the building and start to "talk". Then she would take a very small piece of the coconut fiber from our window baskets and fly off.

Yesterday, Bruce saw "By" (our male, banded blue over yellow) take a pretty big piece of the coconut fiber and fly off. He also saw"Who"(We call her "Who" because she is not banded yet and we don't know "Who" she is) take fibers, only more dainty fibers than "By".

So this started 2 weeks ago and now is happening on a daily basis. Today "Who" came to the back railing and hiccuped her head off at us. She also has some very beautiful cooing in all sorts of tones. She is a very talented girl. Both "By" and "Who" are collecting nest material and heading to the grove adjacent to our restoration site.

Many of these dwindling orange trees on our property and the adjacent property are very thick and various trees have been used by the jays to nest in since we have been here for 11 years.

"By" and "Who" were also in the miniature donkey pasture collecting the fine hairs from the manes of "Shadow", "Sophia" and "Valentino". Who would have thought that they could contribute to the species?

At one point we also saw "BY' go up through the center of the Kiosk and pull down a wasp nest. He put it on the ledge and then "Who" couldn't resist as she dove in and fought for it. "By" won the battle, but only until he flew away. "Who" quickly grabbed the entire nest and flew off with it.

This was a good day to be here so we could observe all of this.           Back to Top of Page
People Making News at the Trail
Laura and Chris Sampson have volunteered to mark the trail with wood stakes. Since Steve Scott, Eagle Scout, has done such a great job on his restoration area we no longer have as many weeds to indicate where the trail is. So Laura and Chris have offered to help in this area.

Louise Hunt is creating new photo signs for the plant material on the trail. Many have faded over time and Louise has done experimentation for years on the type of ink and photo paper that holds up best to our Florida weather. So new signs are on the way.

Joyce and Bill Stefancic have recently updated the monthly changing activity board of the kiosk, so don't forget to check this out when you walk by. Looks great.

Our graphic designer, Michael Mojher has created a magnificent look for us with our logo and Sandra Groeneveld & David Mazurek are creating the beginning of a beautiful web site at www.scrubjaytrail.org This is currently under construction and they are waiting for us to give them the content of the website. So we have to get on with it. Thank you so much for all of your talents. Very classy!

This weekend we will be clearing another area of the trail in increments of 50 square foot areas. Soon the entire entrance to the Trail will be restored. We are very thankful to the volunteers that keep this energy going year after year and take newcomers under their wing. We are also very thankful to our local sponsors, Lake County Dept. of Tourism and Business Relations, our National sponsors, National Wildlife Federation and our Federal Sponsors, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program. We could not do what we do without you!

Welcome back to Laurel Temmen. After months in Arizona where she worked at the Chiricachua National Monument and saw plenty of Mexican Jays (larger and louder than the Florida Jays) she is back in Gainesville, Florida with Florida Fish and Wildlife. Laurel was a steward of the National Wildlife Federation Spring class '06 that got so much attention for the U.S. Government Post office garden in Clermont. She has also been very passionate about her activities with Lake Louisa State Park. We are so happy to have her talents back in Florida. Look forward to seeing you again soon Laurel!      Back to Top of Page

Eagle Scouts Ready to Roll
Two more Eagle Scouts have stepped up to the plate and are submitting paper work to their leaders to create a project of great worthiness on The Florida Scrub-Jay Trail. One is proposing another 1 acre restoration site and the other is proposing an amphitheater. Both have been approved by our organization and need only be approved by the Boy Scouts of America. At that point we shall be ready to roll.           Back to Top of Page
Visitors to the Trail
This past month we had folks from Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Florida visit the Scrub-Jay Trial. One couple from Tennessee have tried to see a scrub-jay all their lives and never had until they came to The Florida Scrub-Jay Trail. At age 85 that was a gift worth giving. It was also a first for the folks from Ohio and Tennessee. We truly have something special to offer in Florida.

Our outreach is across the continent this month.

The Outrigger Canoe Club in Hawaii has sent the Florida Scrub-Jay Trailblazers a new recipe to try this weekend (carrot bread) at our breakfast table. It is always a huge hit at their events and they thought it would go over well in Florida also. Bruce will make it and see if it holds up to theirs. You be the judge. Thank you Outrigger Canoe Club! Does this mean we need a trip to Hawaii to make the comparison. Shucks, Terri Cleary has already been there. She will have to be our local judge!           Back to Top of Page