Protect the Only Bird that Lives Nowhere Else but Florida!

The Florida Scrub-Jay is the only Florida native bird species that lives nowhere else in the world. Florida Scrub-Jay is listed under the Endangered Species Act due to loss of its scrub and scrubby-flatwoods habitat.

Decades of fire suppression on public and private lands promoted overgrown habitat unsuitable for Scrub-Jays that need bare sand patches in which to bury acorns and oaks no more than 6 feet tall so they can see predators. Even on protected conservation lands, Florida Scrub-Jays have declined by as much as 25 percent in the last two decades because of fire suppression and habitat loss to development and agriculture.

Last year, Audubon Florida took on Jay Watch, a citizen science program focused solely on the Florida Scrub-Jay. Audubon’s Jay Watch volunteer corps engages more than 260 citizen scientists to collect essential data on Florida Scrub-Jay populations in 20 counties across the Florida peninsula. In the second year, Audubon mapped Scrub-Jay family territories on 54 sites with 15 partner-monitoring sites also contributing data for a total of 69 sites surveyed.

The hard work of these dedicated Jay Watch volunteers and staff provide real-time data on Scrub-Jay breeding success and habitat quality that informs land managers, state and federal agencies on the health of bird populations and the need for prescribed fire. 

With your help, Audubon hopes to increase the number of volunteer trainings by 50 percent within three years, and increase the number of volunteers by 50 percent within five years. This boots on the ground conservation corps is essential to saving the Scrub-Jay and the one-of-a-kind Florida scrub habitat.

Your contribution can make a tremendous difference in our ability to protect this species and their habitat. 

$25 trains one Jay Watch volunteer in the field

$50 provides training manuals for five Jay Watch volunteers to assure quality data collection

$500 covers the cost of a team leader for 3 days of survey work

$1000 helps underwrite volunteer appreciation costs

A great holiday gift or recognition for
someone who cares about conservation!

Fill out the honoree/memorial block on the attached donate page and your honoree will automatically receive this certificate of thanks from Audubon.


“We moved to Florida from New York and my first encounter with Scrub-Jays was on a trip to Merritt Island, which I thought was the closest location to our new home in Dunnellon. Later I learned that an estimated 100 Florida Scrub-Jays lived 15 minutes from home in the 8,000 acre Halpata-Tastanaki Preserve. I delight in telling other birders where to see these jays and often hear afterwards about their excitement in locating such vocal, inquisitive birds.  After attending the Jay Watch training, I can decipher the difference between a male and female scrub-jay’s call, identify the juveniles from the adults, and understand other facets of the jay’s life that can help in the effort to save these birds in Florida. My Jay Watch experience led me to become an advocate for the Scrub-Jays and the little scrub habitat left.”

Sandra Marraffino,
Jay Watcher, Citizen Scientist & Advocate


Web site copyright Audubon Florida © 2013. Photo rights remain with the photographers.
Photos by Marianne Korosy, Greg Stephens and Reinier Munguia.