Cerulean Warbler Conservation Coffee, 800/648-6491
Java Journey Coffee Roaster, 410/332-0133
Juan Ana, 507/359-2966
Equal Exchange Fairly Traded Coffee, 774-776-7400
Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture , (888)My-Earth
Thanksgiving Coffee, 800/648-6491
Coffee and Birds.... The Basic Facts
Believe it or not, you can save songbirds with every cup of coffee that you drink.
Older varieties of coffee (shade-grown coffee) are grown under the shade of trees in order to retain and nourish the soil and to moderate the heat and light reaching the plants. Coffee farms that will mimic forest conditions in Latin America and the Caribbean, actually are saving Neotropical migrant birds and are also a refuge for local resident birds. Depending on the species of shade trees and the structure of the tree cover, anywhere from a few to scores of resident and migratory bird species will rely on coffee farms for food and cover. Ornithologists have consistently documented the importance of shade-coffee habitat in the increasingly deforested landscape of the Neotropics.
The move to "technify" the coffee sector, however, begun in the 1970s and continuing today, involves replacing the traditional coffee varieties with newer hybrids, called sun-coffee, which have been developed for sun tolerance (without shade) and compact growth, therefore yielding more coffee per bush and per hectare. The flip-side is that more chemical inputs - fertilizer, herbicides, and pesticides - are needed with sun-coffee than with traditional shade cultivation, and, of course, the land is denuded of tree cover.
Here are some practical things activities for birders, ornithologists, and wildlife conservationists, things we can all do to promote the cause of shade coffee, focus on important coffee concerns, and save birds:
Coffee Lessons (PDF file, 142KB)
Article from Bird Watcher's Digest by Paul J. Baicich