Florida Scrub-Jay: Field Notes on a Vanishing Bird (Hardcover)

Florida Scrub-Jay: Field Notes on a Vanishing Bird By Mark Jerome Walters Cover Image

Florida Scrub-Jay: Field Notes on a Vanishing Bird (Hardcover)

$24.95


Florida Historical Society Stetson Kennedy Award


A portrait of a species on the brink

The only bird species that lives exclusively in Florida, the Florida scrub-jay was once common across the peninsula. But as development over the last 100 years reduced the habitat on which the bird depends from 39 counties to three, the species became endangered. With a writer's eye and an explorer's spirit, Mark Walters travels the state to report on the natural history and current predicament of Florida's flagship bird.

Tracing the millions of years of evolution and migration that led to the development of songbirds and this unique species of jay, Walters describes the Florida bird's long, graceful tail, its hues that blend from one to the next, and its notoriously friendly manner. He then focuses on the massive land-reclamation and canal-building projects of the twentieth century that ate away at the ancient oak scrub heartlands where the bird was abundant, reducing its population by 90 percent.

Walters also investigates conservation efforts taking place today. On a series of field excursions, he introduces the people who are leading the charge to save the bird from extinction--those who gather for annual counts of the species in fragmented and overlooked areas of scrub; those who relocate populations of scrub-jays out of harm's way; those who survey and purchase land to create wildlife refuges; and those who advocate for the prescribed fires that keep scrub ecosystems inhabitable for the species.

A loving portrayal of a very special bird, Florida Scrub-Jay is also a thoughtful reflection on the ethical and emotional weight of protecting a species in an age of catastrophe. Now is the time to act, says Walters, or we will lose the scrub-jay forever.

Product Details ISBN: 9780813066721
ISBN-10: 0813066727
Publisher: University Press of Florida
Publication Date: March 9th, 2021
Pages: 176
Language: English