Jaybirds

1 Jun

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Photos by Melody Hendrix

We have so many kinds of birds in Florida that it seems as if the whole state is a huge aviary. We have two kinds of jaybirds. Blue Jay and Florida Scrub-Jay. There are two major differences between them. One is scrappy, and the other is easy to tame with a peanut. The third difference is a matter of life and death.

At times up to 20% of Blue Jays migrate and come back some other time. The oldest Blue Jay on record was 26 years old.  Scientists found him in the same area where he had been born and tagged. He still wore his tag. 

Blue Jays get around and Scrub Jays stay in one place all their lives. Blue Jays can live in a variety of habitats, but Scrub jays must have a scrub area to live in. That means they nest close to the ground or in trees and shrubs that are no higher than six feet. If you walk through it, you walk on sand. The Eastern prickly pear cactus grows in certain spots. In other words, it’s a very dry habitat. It has low scrub trees and bushes. The territory needs to have a burn at least every ten years so that it doesn’t become too tall and tangled for the Scrub Jay’s needs. In former days, lightening took care of the burning chore, but now the environmental people usually do controlled fires. The birds fly away from the property and come back when the scrub has cooled. We are so blessed to have 44 acres of Scrub Jay habitat behind our house where no other houses will be built, and the Scrub Jays will thrive. (I hope).

Florida is becoming built up, however, which in turn reduces Scrub Jay habitat. The environmental people try to keep up with how much land builders can use, but much of Scrub Jay territory falls to construction until there is no place to nest and the Scrub Jays must expire. Our earth has approximately thirteen million jays, but at a recent count, only about 6,000 are Florida Scrub-Jays. 

Except for some brilliant and hopeful environmentalists, The Florida Scrub-Jay is still in danger of losing habitat and changing their status from Threatened to Endangered. The next step after that is Extinction.

God loves all the nature he created and the beautiful things he made, He did not do it for Himself but for His children so that we can thrive, enjoy His ongoing creativity, and learn from it. 

Then God said, “And now we will make human beings; they will be like us and resemble us. They will have power over the fish, the birds, and all animals, domestic and wild, large and small.” Genesis 1:26

Thank you, Lord, we deeply appreciate the works of your hands and pray that we may do a good job of looking after all the gifts you have put on earth for us to take care of and enjoy. 

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

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