Ottawa, Ontario

Eric & Margo Garrison

Eric & Margo Garrison

We’re passionate about birds and nature. That’s why we opened a Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop in our community.

Ottawa, Ontario

Blue Heron Mall,
1500 Bank Street
Ottawa, ON K1H 7Z1

Phone: (613) 521-7333
Fax: (613) 521-7333
Email: Send Message

Store Hours:
Mon - Fri: 9:30 am - 5:30 pm
Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sun: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

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Birds & Beans™ 
Bird-Friendly Coffee

Your Cup of Coffee Can Make a Difference to the Birds

Did you know that the coffee industry in Canada is a $6.2 billion business.  Coffee is the most popular beverage among adult Canadians over 16 – even more than tap water. Two thirds of adult Canadians enjoy at least one cup of coffee a day with the average at 3.2 cups/day - 7 out of 10 cups of coffee are consumed at home. If you or a family member are coffee drinkers like we are, read on to learn about the connection between your daily cup of coffee and the birds in your yard.

Before coffee became big business, coffee was grown in the shade.  Coffee bushes thrived under a canopy of trees, taking a little longer to grow, but producing great tasting coffee with little or no pesticides. Those tree canopies under which coffee grew were filled with life.  They served as wintering grounds and vital migratory habitat for hundreds of birds species, including birds that breed in our area or that migrate through in spring on their way to more northerly breeding grounds.

Baltimere Oriole

The birds that are known to rely on shade-grown coffee plantations in Latin America include many familiar birds that we count on to add color and song to our yards during late spring, summer, and early fall.  Birds like the Ruby-throated HummingbirdRose-breasted GrosbeakIndigo Bunting and Baltimore Oriole.

But more and more, when these birds leave our yards in the fall, they are returning to wintering grounds that have been decimated.  The tree canopy they rely on has been destroyed in an effort to grow coffee faster and cheaper.

Besides the destruction of the habitat the birds need, these massive sun-grown coffee plantations generally need more pesticides and other chemicals, and the soil is more prone to erosion. All this in order to grow coffee faster and cheaper.  But at what cost?

We're reminded in the "Saving the Tropics One Sip at a Time" article in Cornell's Birdscape publication, "It's important to remember that 'cheap' coffee is only inexpensive because the environment, including tropical birds, not the consumer, is paying much of the cost."

The cup of coffee you enjoy every morning while watching the birds may contribute to their decline or eventually their demise.

Bird FriendlyBut you do have a choice. You can choose to drink only shade-grown coffee.  Since there is no legal definition of "shade-grown coffee", you can count on the Bird Friendly® certification developed by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center.  When you see the Bird Friendly seal, you can rest assured that the coffee you're enjoying was grown on a sustainable, organic coffee farm using the safest techniques.

We offer only Birds&Beans™ coffee which is certified Bird-Friendly®.  It is not only good tasting, but it is good for the birds, good for the environment, and good for the coffee workers.  Join us in drinking only Bird-Friendly® Birds & Beans™ coffee and spreading the word about it? 


Available at Wild Birds Unlimited - Ottawa

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Shade-grown Coffee Resources and Information