On May 9, bird lovers and coffee lovers can unite in an online effort to protect birds through the purchase of bird-friendly coffee.
As part of this year’s World Migratory Bird Day, the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center is celebrating birds with a one-day digital “flash flock” to raise awareness for Bird Friendly certified coffee, which conserves important habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife where coffee is grown.
“Bird Friendly” is a certification started by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center that uses conservation science for a “more biodiverse, sustainable world,” the Smithsonian states at its website, nationalzoo.si.edu/migratory-birds/bird-friendly-coffee.
“[T]he Bird Friendly gold standard does more than other eco-friendly seals to protect habitat, which is often destroyed to make way for coffee growing,” the site states.
The Bird Friendly program’s goal is protecting habitat from the threat of deforestation.
“Twenty years of Smithsonian research shows that this action maintains habitat for songbirds while helping fight the effects of climate change,” it says.
Producers must first meet the requirements for organic certification, then meet additional criteria to ensure they are maintaining the forest cover that provides habitat for birds and other wildlife, the website ethicalcoffee.net explains.
“As a result, Bird Friendly coffee offers all the environmental benefits of organic coffee,” it states.
Standards require at least 40% shade coverage, making recommendations for the diversity and size of trees that make up the forest canopy, the site states.
“Surveys by biologists have found that a shade coffee plantation is home to almost as much biodiversity as untouched forest,” it states.
Bird Friendly coffee has a seal on the package to show it’s “the gold standard in eco-friendly, organic farming.”
Bird Friendly coffee farms are located in Central and South America, Ethiopia, Thailand and India.
Importers of Bird Friendly coffee are in various states and countries, including New Jersey, Louisiana, California and Washington State. For a list of coffee importers, visit nationalzoo.si.edu/migratory-birds/certified-coffee-importers.
For the May 9 “flash flock,” people can support bird-friendly activities at home and online by posting info and photos from the Smithsonian’s digital toolkit, using the #DrinkBirdFriendly hashtag, encouraging others to drink Bird Friendly coffee and using the Smithsonian’s Bird Friendly Coffee page to learn where they can buy certified beans.
The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center will be offering activities and games for all ages on Facebook and Twitter.
For more information, visit nationalzoo.si.edu/migratory-birds/bird-friendly-coffee.