Sunday, February 7, 2010

Florida's Scrub-Jay--Vickie Henderson

Visiting coastal Florida in the winter is like visiting a playground for a person who loves birds.Full of field experiences with wintering birds of all varieties, my visit was characterized by zero time to sketch but plenty of time to enjoy new species. Besides providing a much needed break from winter's grip in Tennessee, I came home with tons of beautiful images to reference as I paint and become better acquainted with each species.
The threatened Florida Scrub-Jay was among my new encounters, a curious and friendly bird in the Corvid family, found in a very specific scrub habitat, a habitat also favored by humans and rapidly disappearing.
Fortunately, Brevard County Florida has a group of alert stewards in an organization called the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program (EEL). This organization has preserved a network of endangered lands for the benefit of everyone, especially the threatened wildlife that are dependent upon these habitats. It was on one of these land sanctuaries that I met the curious and delightful Scrub-Jay.

To find more images and the story of my visit with Florida's Scrub-Jays, visit Vickie Henderson Art.


  1. Great info, Vickie, and what a beautiful journal page from you visit. Must have been a bit of heaven. Love your new 'headshot' :)

  2. Beautiful photos and a lovely painting! It's sad that Florida's scrub is vanishing so quickly. If you ever get a chance, visit the Archbold Biological Station near Lake Wales - they have some amazing scrub habitats.

  3. SERIOUSLY COOL! And your journal entry is delightful...

  4. beautiful journal page and LOVE the photos!

  5. Beautiful entry Vickie and disappearing habitat is of major concern world-wide. What's the story with the chappie sitting on your head?!

  6. Thanks for your comments, everyone! Always fun to get your feedback.

    Maree, Florida Scrub-Jays are friendly, social birds who live in cooperative family groups. Inorder to track the status of this species, biologists give them peanut treats intermittently so they can more easily trap and band them. I was with one of these biologists.

    The jays like their peanuts and bury them in the sand for later. Landing on a person's head seems to be comparable to birds landing on a limb as they approach a feeder. The next expectation is a hand offering a peanut treat.

  7. i live in san diego, and just was in miami-dade county... i would have been delighted to visit habitat where these beauties abide. I feed our western scrub jays peanuts too! I absolutely love your journal, and hope to "try" and do some sketches here in this next season. Keep up the good work and i look forward to seeing more from you.


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