RE: [CALBIRDS] Re:Western Scrub Jay populations in California
- In Southern California is there a shortage of Oak Tree acorn production?
Scrub jays have this compulsive urge to collect acorns, eat a couple and then stash the rest for later. Only �later� never comes for the majority of those stashed acorns and they eventually sprout and start to grow.
I received a recent e-mail from Brian relating a chat he�d had with a UC-Berkeley forestry professor who had a graduate student who was doing a study of scrub jays. The student watched what the jay�s were stashing and counted over 4,000 acorns stashed in one season.
Brian is a wonderful wildlife photographer and therefore a student of careful observation and a very practical man. He has observed that when presented with acorns the jays look for places to stash them, like pushing them into the ground under little rocks, sticks, etc.
So Brian figures if you were to pick a spot where you wanted new oak trees to be planted and there are scrub jays in the area, you could spend a couple of minutes dropping little rocks and other items around the area marking where you�d like the oak trees to be planted. Then set up an �acorn distribution center� � large bowl filled with acorns for the jays to stash � and stand back.
The jays take acorns from the pile and poke them into the earth under the little rocks and other items and PRESTO � those acorns have all been planted � right where you want them to be planted.
�It�s a seasonal project,� says Brian. �Fall, collect acorns and put out little rock markers. Spring, go out, check for seedlings and screen them.� (You circle small oak seedlings with wire screens to protect them from browsing deer until the seedlings grow large enough to survive on their own.)
Brian says he thought this would be a great �kid friendly� project to get children out into the open spaces, to get them hooked on wanting to be future stewards of the land.
Da Pacem Cordium
----- Original Message -----
From: Chazz Hesselein
Sent: 3/10/2009 9:00:38 PM
Subject: [CALBIRDS] Re:Western Scrub Jay populations in California
Is it possible that West Nile Virus is affecting Western Scrub Jay
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