(STUDY FINDS) -- VENUS, Fla. — An extraordinary type of bird found only in the Sunshine State may be exemplary models when it comes to the importance of two things that are vital to longterm health and happiness among humans: family time and socializing with others. Researchers from the Archbold Biologoical Station in Florida recently studied the Florida scrub jay and made some fascinating discoveries about their unique behavior.
These beautiful blue birds are naturally monogamous creatures that like to settle down with one mate and raise a family. Of course, in the vast majority of bird species, once the kids are old enough they leave the nest in pursuit of their own procreation. Scrub jays, however, are unique. Some recently-matured scrub jays actually put off “moving out” and looking for their own mate if mom and dad still need some help taking care of their younger siblings. These stay-at-home older siblings, referred to as “helpers” by researchers, put off their search for a mate while many of their peers around the same age without younger siblings leave the nest and spend the majority of their time in pursuit of a mate and nest of their own. These scrub jays with reproduction on the mind are referred to as “breeders.”