At one time, almost all coffee was grown in the shade of a forest canopy. This shade grown coffee supported an eco-system that helped conserve water sheds, did not require pesticides (birds provided natural pest control), helped control soil quality and provided habitat for many animals, including birds. Now, most coffee is sun-grown in deforested areas. There are 90% fewer bird species found in sun-grown coffee plantations. Some of these species are migratory and are ones that you might find in your garden. The birds listed below (courtesy of the Audubon Society) would benefit if you made a point of purchasing shade grown coffee.
When you order your next cup of coffee, please ask if it’s shade grown. If it’s not, encourage the company to provide shade grown options to support the environment.
Ruby-throated Hummingbird • Western Wood-Pewee • Yellow-bellied Flycatcher • Swainson’s Thrush • Wood Thrush • Solitary Vireo • Yellow-throated Vireo • Warbling Vireo • Philadelphia Vireo • Red-eyed Vireo • Tennessee Warbler • Nashville Warbler • Northen Parula • Yellow Warbler • Cape May Warbler • Black-throated Blue Warbler • Townsend’s Warbler • Black-throated Green Warbler • Blackburnian Warbler • Yellow-throated Warbler • Black-and-White Warbler • American Redstart • Ovenbird • MacGillivray’s Warbler • Wilson’s Warbler • Summer Tanager • Western Tanager • Rose-breasted Grosbeak • Indigo Bunting • Baltimore Oriole