Birds rescued from bad habitat

Brevard Zoo team moves Florida scrub-jays

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PALM BAY, Fla. - A team from the Brevard Zoo said they recently moved several families of Florida scrub jays from their poor quality habitat in Palm Bay to the Buck Lake Conservation Area.

Bird watchers and enthusiasts come from all over the country to see the Florida scrub jay, a small blue-winged bird with a white breast.

But Florida scrub jay populations have been declining due to habitat loss, especially in Palm Bay.

According to officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, in the 1990's there were about 54 families of Florida Scrub-Jays living in Palm Bay. Today, after this translocation, there are as few as eight families remaining.

The Zoo team was responsible for getting the birds accustomed to small wire cages with a trap doors prior to capture, capturing the birds, transporting and setting the
birds up in temporary holding cages.

"Building a bond with the jays prior to capture helps ease the stress of the move and increases the ability to find the birds in their new home," said Tracy Frampton, coordinator of the project at Brevard Zoo.

Frampton and her team will continue to monitor the Florida Scrub-Jays at their new home indefinitely, adding to the science of translocations.

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