Green Tip: Drink Coffee That’s Good for the Birds

Drink Coffee That’s Good for Birds in 2021

Adapted from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s “Seven Simple Actions to Help the Birds”

The problem: Three-quarters of the world’s coffee farms grow their plants in the sun, destroying forests that birds and other wildlife need for food and shelter. And, sun-grown coffee often requires using environmentally harmful pesticides and fertilizers. In contrast, shade-grown coffee preserves a forest canopy that helps migratory birds survive the winter.

The challenge: Too few consumers are aware of the problems of sun-grown coffee. Those who are aware may be reluctant to pay a little more for environmentally sustainable coffee.

Enjoy shade-grown coffee: It’s a win-win-win: it’s delicious, economically beneficial to coffee farmers, and helps more than 42 species of North American migratory songbirds that winter in coffee plantations, including orioles, warblers, and thrushes.

Take it further: Look for Bird Friendly coffee, a certification from the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center that also includes organic standards. Educate coffee shops and grocery stores about shade-grown coffees! If your favorite coffee shop or brand doesn’t carry shade-grown coffee, write or talk to them about its importance to our summer bird friends.

For example, our ED, Caroline, reached out to Coffee by Design, which carries her favorite Italian Roast Decaf to ask this question and got a nice response from their Director of Coffee, Jeremy Behne. He responded that much of their coffee is Rainforest Alliance-certified but they have elected not to use the trademark. He added that many of their single origin coffees come from small farmers in mountainous regions that are not necessarily certified bird-friendly, but are shade-grown. He added that shade-grown coffee generally tastes better. So with a little bit of sleuthing, you can get some great information and let businesses know what’s important to you.

The bird population world-wide has declined by around 30% since the 1970s. We can’t afford to lose any more! To learn more about the causes of bird decline and what you can do to help, register for our January speaker, Barbara Snapp, who will discuss, Where Have All the Birdies Gone?


Local Maine Retailers that sell Bird Friendly coffee:

Retail Name Address Phone Roaster

Freeport Wild Bird Supply

This retailer sells Bird Friendly coffee from roaster Birds & Beans.

541 Route One

Freeport ME 4032

United States
(207) 865-6000

Hog Island Audubon Camp

This retailer sells Bird Friendly coffee from roaster Birds & Beans.

12 Audubon Rd.

Bremen ME 4551

United States
 

Hog Island Store

This retailer sells Bird Friendly coffee from roaster Birds & Beans.

12 Audubon Rd

Bremen ME 4551

United States
 

Lois” Natural Marketplace

This retailer sells Bird Friendly coffee from roaster Birds & Beans.

152 US 1

Scarborough ME4074

United States
(207) 885-0602

Maine Audubon Nature Store

This retailer sells Bird Friendly coffee from roaster Birds & Beans.

20 Gilsland Farm Road

Falmouth ME 4105

United States
 

Rising Tide

This retailer sells Bird Friendly coffee from roaster Birds & Beans.

323 Main Street

Damariscotta ME4543

United States
(207) 563-5556

Whole Foods Market

This retailer sells Bird Friendly coffee.

2 Somerset St.

PORTLAND ME

United States
(207) 774-7711