Florida Time Forgot, Mark Renz 1-239-368-3252

Photo and words by Mark Renz

Dangerous Trust?

Already trusting, scrub jays further threatened by being fed

When my wife Marisa and I drove over to Cape Coral to see if we could spot and photograph the threatened Florida scrub jay, I told her they are very trusting and will likely allow us to get fairly close for photos. We weren't counting on them landing on us. While this bird may be trusting by nature, it was obvious to us that they were accustomed to being fed. Such actions may be great for photos but risky for the birds. If they wait for sporatic handouts, squirrels and other critters may deplete their natural food source before they realize it's too late. Not all humans are friendly either. It's a matter of time before a pellet or BB gun is aimed in their direction as an easy target by rambunctious youngsters, or a neighbor who resents the protection of the bird's habitat that he or she feels might be better suited for human habitat.

After about 10 minutes of hamming it up for photos, the friendly jays realized we weren't going to feed them and went off to find acorns.

Click here for more on scrubjays.