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Behavior Scrub Jay

Florida Scrub Jay Audible Sounds

I have found in my time being with the Florida Scrub Jay that it has three levels of sound. By that I mean it has three volumes of sound. Those sound levels consist of:

  1. Super soft little chirps – They make these tiny sounds when they are in close proximity to one another. It is the only sound which sounds like a classic “songbird” that the Florida Scrub Jay makes. To me it is also the endearing sound. I will sometimes mimic this sound and it will gain their attention. They must be thinking ” he is speaking our language but its gibberish” Haha. Sometimes when you don’t even realize there is more than one scrub-jay in the area, if your bird makes this sound then start looking around for another scrub-jay. They are probably saying things like “I am here.”, “This is what I am doing” & “what’s up?”.
  2. Medium Sounds – This level of sound consists of four different types of noise. These include, a baby or juvy scrub-jay crying for food. Another is when they are some distance apart, they will make kind of a “shhh” noise to communicate with one another. The other day I saw two scrub-jays both standing on top of trees scoping out what was going on nearby. They were making the sound, which they could both somehow hear at 60 feet apart. There is no way our ears would have been able to hear it that far apart. I was standing in-between them so I could hear both. The third sound at this level is another one of my favorites. When a jay is foraging for food and finds a great snack it will make a sort of happy “sprite” sound, I call it. It sounds like Mario leveling-up on Super Mario Brothers video game. The final sound at medium level is the click-clicking sound the female makes when a foreign male enters their territory.
  3. Loud Sounds – These sounds include alarm calls (predator) and pishing (territorial & alarm). These can be quite loud and alarming which is exactly their purpose. The fast squawk alarm call is sudden and has urgency in tone and can have 4,5,6+ repetitions. The rest of the jays, and many times other species of bird and animal will usually dive for cover. There is a predator inbound.

    The loud pishing, on the other hand, can be used as a way to keep each other on alert but lacks the urgency of the alarm call. One day I heard the scrub-jays doing the pishing sound as they were moving in small increments away. I decided to follow the sound and see what the hubbub was about. Some 5-10 minutes later I arrived in the middle of their pishing and discovered a mama bobcat and two of her large cubs. Bingo. I kept my distance of course. Paying attention to the sounds animals make in nature can actually make you safer as well.

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