Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ceruleans and Coffee

In support of Kenn Kaufman's program at today's Shreve Migration Sensation, I am re-posting this Shade-grown coffee blog.
Photo by Brian Zwiebel

What does your morning cup of coffee have to do with Cerulean warblers? Plenty, according to the research by Dr. Amanda Rodewald at The Ohio State University. Her program at the Ohio Wildlife Diversity Conference focused on the Cerulean Warbler and the terrifying 70% decline in its global population since 1966.

Shade grown coffee could be the answer. Many neotropical birds utilize the plants, often coffee, growing in the understory mountainous regions of South American. More aptly, they “utilize” the insects that visit those plants. All was well and good, until shade grown coffee was tossed aside and the soil tilled and managed for sun grown coffee. The difference is the same contrast between an organic Ohio Amish farm and the huge corporate farms tilling large swathes of land with no hedgerows, and chemically controlled weeds and insects. Not a bird (or people) friendly operation.

What can you do? Let’s make that effort to purchase
shade grown coffee. If we all did a little- we could accomplish a lot! Folger's and Maxwell House should be trembling at the prospective loss from my coffee drinking habits alone!

Help protect the neotropicals: please pass this blog link on to your friends, and let's start rewriting history. Purchase shade grown coffee and give the warblers a break! Please click the new link on the sidebar to order your Audubon coffee.

Photo provided by Brian Zwiebel, to purchase his exceptional photography, please go to
Nature Photography Portfolio.

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