News and Notes

Making Coffee Bird Friendly

Author Katie Fallon, Ecologist Ruth Bennett, and Coffee Crafter Bill Wilson discuss the science, economics, and social dimensions of bird friendly coffee.

Watch “Researching, Certifying, and Selling Bird Friendly Coffee,” to learn more about how bird friendly coffee has developed as a business that supports biodiversity.

Watch the “Cerulean Warbler and other Beautiful Birds” to hear the story of how Katie Fallon’s obsession with one beautiful bird led her to explore the work of Ruth Bennett and other ecologists applying conservation knowledge to make agriculture more supportive of biodiversity.

Cerulean Blues, by Katie Fallon
In her book Cerulean Blues, Katie Fallon writes of how her love for an elusive bird, the Cerulean Warbler, endangered by Mountain Top removal where she lives in West Virginia. She learns from scientists, bird watchers, and coffee lovers, that her bird depends not just on Forests in West Virginia, but also on habitat in Central and South America. In chapter 8, available here, Katie learns about how shade grown coffee can help the Cerulean Warbler.

Bird Friendly Coffee Primer
This primer on bird friendly coffee from The Smithsonian is a great introduction to the science and impact of growing bird friendly coffee with a balance of various tree species, as opposed to growing coffee in full-sun plantations.

For more information about how this could be used in your classroom, check out the “additional resources pdf”.

Classroom Applications: A Phenomenal Image
Use this dramatic image to engage your students in shade-grown vs full sun-grown coffee as a phenomena that illicit questions about how we can use the land while also supporting biodiversity.

Classroom Applications: Data Play
Explore this data graph with your students to develop their data analysis and graphing skills and emphasize the importance of research in taking conservation action like producing coffee in a way that better supports biodiversity.