Florida Scrub Jay

scrub jay-1

This evening listening to Nashville Skyline by Bob Dylan, while making dinner on a one-burner gas plate, in a camping site far from home, I realized I was doing what I wanted to do forty years ago.  Life has a serendipitous way about it that we don’t always appreciate or recognize.

Yesterday Dennis and I hiked out to see an eagle nest with two fledglings in it.  A volunteer with the park service was there to supervise and had set up a telescope for viewing.  My immediate reaction was disappointment because the nest was so far away that even with a telescope the babies were only visible as a movement above the top of the nest.  The previous spring we had been at an eagle nesting site in Tennessee and were close enough to see one of the parents deliver a live fish to the fledglings and watch them kill and devour it.  While a bit gross it was fascinating.  Viewing these eagles in the nest was nothing compared to the previous year’s sighting.

As we stood there waiting our turn at the telescope a beautiful bluish bird appeared and began to interact with the crowd.  It was flying near everyone and even landed on one man’s back.  It turns out that this crowd pleaser was a Florida Scrub Jay.

They are endangered and there are only 22 nesting pairs on the west coast of Florida.  Their sociable nature has put them at risk as well as the loss of habitat.

The Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) is the only species of bird native to the state of Florida and one of only 15 species endemic to the United States.  scrub jay 2-1

We had come to see the eagles but had in fact found the much more rare and beautiful Florida Scrub Jay that delighted and amused us.  I spent the evening in a trailer far from home listening to Nashville Skyline.  Serendipity happens, just not always on our terms. 


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