How are coffee and birds related?

Birds like this Bullock
Birds like this Bullock’s Oriole winter in areas that are also used to grow coffee. Photo by Glenn Bartley via Birdshare.

Coffee farms can provide good habitat for birds—including for wintering migrants from North America as well as birds that live year-round in the tropics. Or it can provide poor habitat—it’s largely a matter of how the coffee is grown. Many of the colorful songbirds that we enjoy in the United States—including warblers, tanagers, orioles, and grosbeaks—migrate south to the tropics and winter in Mexico and Central and South America for five months. Some of the world’s top coffee-producing countries are located there, so coffee farms are a major land use in an important region for wintering bird habitat. By buying sustainable (and particularly “Bird Friendly” labeled) coffees, you can help provide economic support for important bird habitat.

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