Brash, Boisterous & Blue: Meet the Florida Scrub Jay

provided to the Santiva Chronicle

To kick off its 2020 season San-Cap Audubon is pleased to welcome Jacqui Sulek, Chapter Conservation Mgr. of Audubon Florida. Jacqui will introduce you to the Florida Scrub Jay, Florida’s only endemic bird, in her presentation, “Brash, Boisterous & Blue – Meet the Florida Scrub Jay” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9 at the Sanibel Community House. Join Jacqui to learn about the Florida Scrub Jay and what is being done to sustain the remaining population of this charismatic ecosystem indicator.

While the Florida Scrub-Jay was once widespread in the state, development of scrub lands to plant citrus, graze cattle and build homes and businesses has resulted in a drastic reduction in it’s numbers, 90 percent in the last 50 years. Why has this occurred? In order to maintain ideal Florida Scrub Jay habitat fire must be introduced every 3 to 20 years depending on the type of scrub. This has become increasingly challenging as the human landscape encroaches. Since 2012, Audubon Florida has worked with many partners and volunteers performing yearly surveys to monitor the status of Florida Scrub Jay populations on public lands.

Jacqui has had a lifelong love for nature. Growing up in Venezuela, it was orchids. After completing her Fine Arts and Education degree at Middlebury College she changed her focus to plants and began taking classes at the University of Vermont. She spent 3 years as a Ranger-Naturalist on the top of Vermont’s highest mountain protecting the rare Arctic-Alpine Tundra and illustrated a guide to the mountaintop community. After a decade on the high seas she settled in Ft. Lauderdale where she completed a Landscape Design Degree at Broward Community College. She has been gardening for birds and butterflies since the 1980’s. Jacqui has been with Audubon Florida for the last 14 years as the conservation go to person for Florida’s 45 Audubon chapters. In this role she promotes the National Audubon Plants for Birds Program.

This is the first of eight Sanibel-Captiva Audubon Society lectures to be held in 2020 on Thursday evenings at the new starting time of 7 p.m. at the Sanibel Community House, 2173 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel. As always, all are welcome to attend. Doors open at 6:15 PM, and parking is available at the Community House as well as across Periwinkle Way in the Herb Strauss Theater parking area. A $10.00 donation per attendee is appreciated with proceeds after costs being used to promote conservation on Sanibel and in Florida. For additional information, call Bill Jacobson at (239) 395-1878 or visit the San-Cap Audubon Web site at www.san-capaudubon.org.

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