Birds and Coffee

One focus of the Year of the Flood 2009 tour was the link between birds and coffee. Coffee is the second most widely traded substance in the world – the first is oil. Clearing of habitat to plant sun-grown (robusta) coffee – as opposed to the better-tasting shade-grown Arabica, and heavy use of pesticides, has had a very negative impact on many birds.

A Net search will usually turn up a source of organic and/or shade-grown and/or fair trade coffee in your neighbourhood. There are many sites that offer beans for home consumption. If you can’t change anything else in your life, you can probably change this, and make a real impact.

Here are some helpful links:

For Bridget Stutchbury’s book on the coffee-songbird relationship:

For BirdLife International’s work in this area:

For information on Smithsonian Bird-friendly certification:

For the Wikipedia entry: