Migrating Birds, Coffee Farms, and Our Interconnectedness by Lisa Del Rio, Bird-Friendly Coffee Coordinator
The farmers engage in a variety of practices to ensure quality and sustainability. They fertilize the soil with coffee pulp, manure, and tree debris, use tree leaves to deter destructive insects, employ shade to help balance the ecosystem and prevent plant disease, use methane from manure for cooking fuel, and take advantage of abundant solar energy for power.
Bird species that pass through Northeast Ohio during migration or live here in spring and summer, are also found on Central and South American forested coffee plantations in the winter. Some, like the enchanting, tree-top loving Cerulean Warbler, are declining. One important reason is the habitat they depend on in Latin America is degrading or disappearing, much of it for agricultural use.
Above: Suzanne Aldrich, Bird Friendly Coffee Coordinator (left) and Betsey Merkel, Web & Marketing (right).
I volunteered because I wanted to make a difference for the birds – a noticeable difference and grow the bird-friendly coffee drinking community within Northeast Ohio. Birds and Beans LLC coffee is already known by the bird watching aficionados in the Cleveland area. But still most coffee drinkers do not know how rich bird-friendly coffee tastes, how it’s grown, how it helps the farmers and of course, how it helps migratory birds return to Ohio.
Not only is your chapter or organization receiving a percentage of chapter annual sales to support conservation activities, but promoting consumption of organic, Smithsonian Bird Migratory Center certified shade-grown coffee is a great way to connect to people who care about birds and conservation who might not be members.
Order your coffee by Monday, December 10th or purchase your coffee directly from Suzanne Aldrich, WCAS Bird Friendly Coffee Coordinator.
Every day is an opportunity to preserve bird habitat, whether you are out on the trail or standing in your kitchen sipping a newly brewed cup of coffee. Birds and Beans links conservation and coffee together by providing Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society an annual rebate of 5% annual sales volume to put towards Ohio’s conservation projects.
During the winter, the Scarlet Tanager lives in mature forests and forest edges and often visit shade coffee plantations in the Andes, Mexico, and Central America during migration. They are hard to see because they like to hide among the wide leaves of deciduous trees in the forest canopy.
They feed mainly on insects along with some fruit and tender buds and joins mixed species foraging flocks with flycatchers, antbirds, woodcreepers, and resident tropical tanagers.
How can you help this songbird? Help by preserving birding habitat! Join the Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society’s informal coffee club today and start drinking bird-friendly coffee. You’ll love the taste! Go Here
Ordering is easy! Click here.
FACT: Songbirds that migrate to Mexico and the tropics are on the decline.
TRUE: According to the North American Breeding Bird Survey, the population of chestnut-sided warblers has declined by 4% between 1966 and 2015.
FACT: Coffee plantations use various farming methods, such as full-sun to agroforestry systems, to grow and harvest coffee beans.
TRUE: According to a paper published on the "Biodiversity Conservation in Traditional Coffee Systems of Mexico" in 1999, Coffee is grown under a continuum of conditions, from rustic or traditional, to full sun, and these “shades of shade” are not equal when it comes to the health of ecosystems (Reference: Biodiversity Conservation in Traditional Coffee Systems of Mexico. 1999. Conservation Biology 13:11–21.). How do you know that every single bean in every single bag is shade-grown? Buy Birds and Beans coffee!
FACT: Coffee label lingo (Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, Shade-grown, Organic) can confuse consumers in the grocery aisle.
TRUE: Without understanding the certifications on the label, you really will not know how the beans are grown. For example, to be certified as Rainforest Alliance, farmers are to maintain shade cover of 30% or greater. According to the 2017 Consumer Report article, "The Truth About Coffee Packaging Claims", this seal means that some or all of the coffee in the bag is sourced from farms that have met standards aimed at promoting sustainability and protecting farmers, forests, wildlife, and local communities. But Rainforest Alliance standards for minimizing pesticide use and incorporating native trees are not as stringent as those behind the Bird Friendly Habitat designation. Learn More
FACT: Specialty coffee costs more than well-marketed coffee brands.
TRUE: The Whole Foods grocery store in Rocky River, Ohio, sells only one blend of organic, bird-friendly coffee, named Early Bird Blend. One 12-oz bag sells for $11.99 (ground). Birds and Beans coffee comes in many blends, grinds, and sizes. One 12-oz bag without shipping and handling sells for $9.25. With shipping/handling shared among other coffee drinkers, WCAS sells it for $11.75 a bag. Buying a bag larger than 12 oz every other month yields even more savings to you.
Learn more about joining the WCAS Bird Friendly Coffee Club here.
REMINDER: 5% of annual chapter sales support local conservation projects.
USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. 2015. North American Breeding Bird Survey 1966–2015 Analysis.
Make A Donation to Western Cuyahoga Audubon. Your gifts guarantee chapter activities, programs and research continues to reach members and connect birding conservationists around the world. Use our safe and secure PayPal payment button below to make a donation of any amount you choose. All donations are gratefully received.
How can you help this songbird? Help by preserving birding habitat! Join the Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society’s informal coffee club today and start drinking bird-friendly coffee. You’ll love the taste!
Just to be clear, iced coffee is not brewed coffee poured over ice. It shouldn’t be! True iced coffee is actually cold brewed. Cold brewing reduces the acidity of the coffee, which in turn enhances it’s sweetness and other complex flavor notes.
Publishing news, announcements and reports.
Plan to visit the WCAS Bird Friendly Plant Sale and More at the Tremont Arts & Cultural Festival, Lincoln Park, Tremont, Ohio 44113, Sat Sept 28th, 2018 12pm to 7:00pm and Sun Sept 29th, 2018 12:00pm to 5:00pm rain or shine. Pre-purchase Bird Friendly Plants at the STORE. Details coming soon!
2 Ways to Become More Environmentally Friendly with Lisa Del Rio, Bird Friendly Coffee Coordinator
Join the Bird Friendly Coffee Club!
Birds & Beans is the only coffee brand in the USA that is 100% certified Smithsonian shade grown Bird Friendly®, USDA Organic and Fair Trade. Orders in by the 10th of the month! Learn More
Shopping for late summer and fall gardening? The Rock Pile Garden Center
donates 5% of your purchases to WCAS to support chapter activities! Tell your cashier you want your donation to go to WCAS! Details
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The Council of Ohio Audubon Chapters (COAC) promotes chapter development by sharing the best practices, brainstorming solutions to common problems, and building relationships in workshops and retreats. Subscribe
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Maps on Flickr
See Also: WCASOHIO.org Maps Archive
Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society
4310 Bush Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44109
Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. © 2018 Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society. All rights reserved. Website by Betsey Merkel.