Carrie DeLong Battles Mosquito Swarms to Capture Images of Florida Scrub-Jay at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
By Space Coast Daily // April 5, 2023
endangered bird inhabits narrow range in Florida
BREVARD COUNTY, MERRITT ISLAND • FLORIDA – The above image was taken at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge by Carrie DeLong, who received recognition from the National Audubon Society.
Though the blue plumage of this Florida Scrub-Jay nearly matches the brilliant blue Florida sky, the bird’s feathers pop in contrast with the four brown acorns stashed neatly in a line in the jay’s bill.
This endangered bird inhabits a narrow range in Florida, dependent on low-growing oak, like on which this jay perches.
Although the Florida Scrub-Jay eats insects, berries, and even snails and small lizards, acorns are an integral part of their diet. Jays hoard nearly 8,000 acorns each year and, when hungry, hammer the cache open with their sharp bills.
Capturing this gorgeous photo required dedication as Carrie DeLong battled copious mosquitoes while walking along the Scrub Ridge Trail with her family at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation.
Audubon’s state programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action.
Since 1905, Audubon’s vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation.