Cooperative Florida Scrub-Jays – Merritt Island NWR

During this year’s Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival, I met up with a few folks from the Leica Birding Team to search for Florida Scrub-Jays at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. The obvious place to look for them within the refuge is along the Scrub Trail. Drew and I dipped on them last year, but we turned the tables on the jays this year. As soon as we got out of the car, we heard, then saw two Florida Scrub-Jays flush into the scrubby vegetation. We then walked to the trail head and obtained backlit scope looks.

Florida Scrub-Jay - Tim Schreckengost - 23896897013_05887d560f_k

After we soaked in the subpar looks, we moved closer to try and get a better angle. Florida Scrub-Jays along the Scrub Trail are notoriously tame and sometimes perch on the heads of their seekers. Unfortunately, this did not happen to us, but we did manage to get a better angle on one of the birds.

Florida Scrub-Jay - Tim Schreckengost - 24415421112_8dfd54f57d_k

After the group was satisfied, we walked back to the car to move on to another area within the refuge. As we got back to the car, I said, “Hey, let’s walk down this other trail that seems to run right underneath the tree the scrub-jay is in.” So, we walked down the trail and were rewarded with full-frame scope views of a beautiful Florida Scrub-Jay!

Florida Scrub-Jay - Tim Schreckengost - 23896896023_2b5f6af56c_k Florida Scrub-Jay - Tim Schreckengost - 24155951109_fb191e3a3d_k

All photos were digiscoped using a iPhone 6 Plus & Phone Skope Adapter.

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