Birds & Birding
As of March 2015, the total bird list that we keep for our farm is 318 species. This is a very large number of species for one farm, especially when you consider the fact that we are only speaking of an area of 28 acres! Warblers, hummingbirds, tanagers, oropendolas, hawks, owls and even antpittas make this small piece of land home. Although we are an island surrounded by urban development and graze land, we are able to support an amazing bird diversity. How is this so?
First of all sound farming practices, such as NOT using ANY pesticides is a major fraction of the effort. Not using insecticides means birds can find plenty of invertebrates to feed upon. Not using herbicides allows weeds to grow, which adds another "layer" where the birds can feed, hide and even nest. Our coffee is planted under the shade of taller Erythrina trees, which also adds another substrate, a sort of canopy, in which the birds may feed. Habitat rehabilitation and enhancement is no less important. One third of our farm has been set aside as a preserve and reforested with native species. This preserve also protects both sides of the Río Birrisito as it runs through our property. We have also added a tremendous amount of diversity by planting rescued epiphytes that have fallen out of trees (eg. orchids and bromeliads) on the trunks of the shade trees.
Some of these species, such as Canada Warbler, Olive-sided Flycatcher and Cerulean Warbler, are quickly declining in numbers and depend on places such as our farm to survive.
To learn more about birds and birding in this shadegrown coffee farm