You’re invited to capture an in-person bird count this week at Buck Lake and Lake Monroe conservation areas

PALM BAY, Fla., July 6, 2016 — Nearly three dozen volunteers are expected to scan the skies for rare Florida scrub jays at two St. Johns River Water Management District properties during the annual statewide Jay Watch survey from Friday through Sunday, July 8-10. Media are invited out Friday and will have access to the property and wildlife experts who will be ready to share why this activity is important to Florida’s scrub jay community.

WHAT: Scrub Jay Survey

WHEN: July 8 at 10 a.m.

WHERE: Buck Lake Conservation Area in Brevard/Volusia counties and Lake Monroe Conservation Area in Volusia County

The success of the annual Jay Watch events is entirely dependent on dedication of many volunteers who care enough about these amazing creatures to commit the time needed to accurately measure their populations. The Florida scrub jay is the only bird species endemic to Florida, and their numbers and habitat have diminished over the decades. District staff have spent several years improving habitat conditions on district lands to help sustain these birds.

Each year, Audubon Florida coordinates Jay Watch counts simultaneously throughout Florida over a three-day period. Volunteers conduct scientific surveys that measure annual nesting success and count the total number of Florida scrub jays at more than 50 sites in 19 counties. Each participating organization generates a report that enables Florida Audubon to determine the overall condition of the scrub jay population throughout Florida.

Media outlets interested in attending one of the district’s Jay Watch events are asked to RSVP Ed Garland (contact information at the top of this release) by 5p.m. Thursday, July 7.

To see a video from previous years’ statewide scrub jay survey on district lands,visit our YouTube page at