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Audubon to present ‘Brash, Boisterous & Blue — Meet the Florida Scrub Jay’

By Staff | Jan 9, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Jacqui Sulek

The Sanibel-Captiva Audubon Society will host Audubon Florida Chapter Conservation Manager Jacqui Sulek for a presentation, “Brash, Boisterous & Blue – Meet the Florida Scrub Jay,” on Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. at The Community House, at 2173 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.

Sulek will introduce attendees to the Florida scrub jay, Florida’s only endemic bird. Learn about the bird and what is being done to sustain the remaining population of the charismatic ecosystem indicator.

While the Florida scrub jay was once widespread in the state, development of scrub lands to plant citrus, graze cattle and build homes and businesses has resulted in a drastic reduction in its numbers – 90 percent in the last 50 years. Why has this occurred? In order to maintain ideal Florida scrub jay habitat, fire must be introduced every 3-20 years depending on the type of scrub. This has become increasingly challenging as the human landscape encroaches. Since 2012, Audubon Florida has worked with partners and volunteers performing yearly surveys to monitor the status of the Florida scrub jay populations on public lands.

Sulek has had a lifelong love for nature. Growing up in Venezuela, it was orchids. After completing her Fine Arts and Education degree at Middlebury College, she changed her focus to plants and began taking classes at the University of Vermont. She spent three years as a ranger-naturalist on the top of Vermont’s highest mountain protecting the rare Arctic-Alpine Tundra and illustrated a guide to the mountaintop community. After a decade on the high seas she settled in Fort Lauderdale, where she completed a Landscape Design Degree at Broward Community College. She has been gardening for birds and butterflies since the 1980s. Sulek has been with Audubon Florida for the last 14 years as the conservation go-to person for Florida’s 45 Audubon chapters. In this role she promotes the National Audubon Plants for Birds Program.

This is the first of eight Sanibel-Captiva Audubon lecture to be held this season. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. and parking is available at The Community House, as well as at BIG ARTS Strauss Theater.

JACQUI SULEK

A $10 donation per attendee is appreciated, with the proceeds after costs being used to promote conservation on Sanibel and in Florida.

For information, call Bill Jacobson at 239-395-1878 or visit www.san-capaudubon.org.