Bringing Back the Birds

Why shade-grown coffee is good for birds and farmers

Our choice of coffee can make a difference for birds in tropical parts of the world — and biodiversity overall. Many international studies on coffee plantations in Central America, confirm that coffee farms with shade trees are best for birds and that these tropical birds likely provide important environmental and economic benefits to farmers.

Unfortunately the vast majority of coffee is produced as “sun coffee”. Tropical forests are cleared to make place for monoculture coffee plantations.

How the choice of your morning cup can make a difference:

Drink shade-grown coffee.  One of the easiest things we can all do to support the migratory songbirds is to make sure that the coffee we buy comes from coffee farms that preserve bird habitat. Shade coffee plantations maintain large tropical trees that provide essential habitat for wintering songbirds.

Protecting and helping birds is not only the right thing to do, it is also good for the economy and the future of our environment. Birds are invaluable as controllers of insect pests and as pollinators of crops.

Help protecting the migratory birds and adopt a coffee plant for $44

Additionally you will receive:

✔  Three, 14 oz (399gr) bags, shade-grown coffee of our best selection

✔ A personalized planting certificate with  the GPS location of your coffee tree

At your choice: Espresso Ground, Medium Roast Ground or Medium Roast Beans

Migratory Birds are Crazy for Coffee

Shade coffee farming, where the crop is grown under a tropical tree canopy, is one of the most biodiversity-friendly agricultural habitats and harbors high bird diversity.

Shaded coffee plantations are often the last refuge for forest-adapted organisms. In Nicaragua, insect diversity in shaded coffee rivals that found in lowland rainforest areas.

Donate old birdwatching equipment such as binoculars or spotting scopes, they go to schools and universities who have not the resources they need. We will send you a message which institution will receive your donation. Please use the contact form on the home.

Baltimore Oriole   (Icterus galbula)  Our coffee friend.This songbird nests in the eastern United States and Canada then migrates to spend the winter in southern Mexico and Central America.

One of its favorite habitats is shaded coffee plantations where it feeds on the plentiful nectar and insects of the flowering shade trees.

This oriole’s decline is directly related to the massive conversion of shaded to sun coffee plantations.

Scarlet Tanager  (Piranga olivacea) The Scarlet Tanager is one of the eastern deciduous forests’ most beautiful songbirds.

The Scarlet Tanager is one of the eastern deciduous forests’ most beautiful songbirds. They migrate as far south as the Andean foothills of Bolivia. They often visit shade coffee plantations in the Andes during the winter as well as in Mexico and Central America during migration.


Shade Grown coffee vs Sun Coffee

Historically, coffee was originally grown under shade. These coffee plant species were sun-intolerant, requiring shade.But in 1972, new hybrid, sun-tolerant coffee varieties were developed that yielded 2-3!! more coffee beans than shade grown varieties.

More coffee = more $$ = clear cutting shade farms and rainforest habitat. Of the 6 million acres of coffee lands, 60% have been stripped of shade trees since 1972   So essentially sustainable, shade grown coffee farms maintain an alternative, forested habitat for songbirds.

AgriForest Finance has proved that sustainable agriculture and profitable business can go hand-in-hand. We just have to continue planting trees.

Learn more about our sustainable investment locations