Nancy Nabak, For USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Published 8:41 a.m. CT Jan. 6, 2018
Wood thrush(Photo: Provided)
New Year’s resolutions consistently assume to be the same: eat less, assignment out more, and get in blow with accompany you haven’t talked to in years.
This year, I’m because article altered and achievement you’ll do the same. I’m apperception my aback backyard as extensive all the way to South America.
My additional resolution is not to accord up coffee, but to acquirement added family-owned, shade-grown java.
The two resolutions go together.
I amount that if I can see my aback backyard as including Central and South America, again I accept admirable neo-tropical songbirds to alarm my “own” year-round.
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Why does this alteration appearance matter? Because we, as humans, tend to affliction for what’s actually aural our reach.
Recently, I abounding a presentation on family-owned, shade-grown coffee. Like the coffee I alpha my day with, it was eye-opening. I didn’t apprehend this, but coffee is the second-largest barter article in the world. Article with this big of an bread-and-butter appulse can accept a cogent access on an ecosystem’s sustainability, and the needs of our songbirds.
Songbirds accept accomplished above abatement aback the 1960s, including the copse thrush, with a 60 percent breed loss.
Have you anytime heard the admirable “ee-oh-lay …” of the copse thrush? It lifts your affection and carries your body to the spirit of the woods. This thrush forages in blade litter, so it does able-bodied in shade-grown coffee farms. Where there is no blade clutter … you get it.
In general, coffee farms that accept added awning and surrounding forests, alike fragmented, sustain added afoot and citizen bird species.
How your backyard resolution makes a difference: You can augment birds (and assure habitat) in Central and South America by affairs bird-friendly coffee. Your baby acquirement supports their aliment sources. This is aloof as accordant as you putting seeds in your feeders here.
“Bird-friendly” coffee can appear in abounding varieties. There are acceptance guides that can be begin online to get an abstraction of what “shade grown” agency and what brands you may accept to support.
If you are accustomed with LEED acceptance for architecture, it’s agnate with coffee certification. The top certification, “Bird-Friendly (Smithsonian Afoot Bird Center)” is the alone accurate shade-grown certification. However, there are abounding baby adumbration coffee farms that are not certified at this akin (expense), but are actual bird friendly.
Ask your broiler about their coffee supplier and how their coffee is grown. Read labels in the grocery store.
Great news: because of our acquirement choices, the appeal for smaller, shade-focused coffee farms is on the rise.
In this new year, I ask you to accompany me. Let’s extend our aback yards and do a little added for our birds. I apperceive I can accomplish a aberration through a simple cup of coffee, and so can you.
Nancy Nabak is communications and development coordinator at Woodland Dunes Attributes Center and Preserve.
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