The Limpkin November 2019

Albany Audubon Society
Post Office Box 705
Albany, Georgia 31701
Founded in 1972, Chartered 1973
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Meet at 6:45 pm on the 2nd Thursday of each month September -April

Flint RiverQuarium at 101 Pine Avenue, Albany, GA 31707

Mission Statement: The mission of Albany Audubon Society is to promote conservation and restoration of local natural ecosystems, focusing on birds and other wildlife for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity.

President Donna Reshetnichenko
President-Elect/Vice-President Elaina Nattrass
Secretary Kristie Nattrass
Program Chair Shared Position
Treasurer Mark Mitchell
Field Trip Chair Alan Ashley
Conservation Chair Anne Jacobs, PhD
Hospitality Chair Melvin Dees
Publicity Chair Open
Newsletter/Publications Laurel Foreman
Board Members Donnie Lanier, Elaina Nattrass, Kristie Nattrass, Lucy Power, Ray Power, Debbie Reynolds, Ron Simpson

Flock Leader’s MessageWhat I am Thankful For

By Donna Reshetnichenko

I am a very proud president of the Albany Audubon Society.  I have often listened to the dialogue between members (and presenters) and I see a total commitment to our mission, and a passion to better the world we live in.  Knowing our group, this does not surprise me. But it is important that you know the joy and hopes it brings to me. We don’t just eat, nod our heads, clap and go home. We are engaged, we know that we are part of the solution. 

We aren’t just talkers, we are doers!

*Yet again, we will be meeting in a different place on Thursday.  Signs will be posted to help guide you.  Use the FRQ back parking lot.  Walk to the center of the plaza.  Instead of going up the stairs to the Imagination Theater, you will go the opposite and enter the actual FRQ building.  Go to the second floor (stairs or elevator) and you should see people in the “River Room.”  My hope is that EVERYONE will be able to hear.  We had major difficulties last month in the lobby of the Imagination Theater.  Thank you for your patience as we work out the sound issues.

*Please do not hesitate to call/text/email me with any questions or concerns.

 At 6:45, refreshments will be available so that our program will begin promptly at 7:00 pm.  See you then!


Back parking lot


Entrance (beside waterfall)


Close-up of entrance


If you weren’t able to attend, you missed a very informative program. 

Between Alan and Allison, they have more than 25 years of combined experience (and likely equal that in their formal education!)  Their knowledge and passion were captivating and we were so happy to have them talk with us.  But more importantly, through diligence and persistence, they serve and manage this environment that we call, our world.

October’s newsletter featured each biography.

Birds and Coffee: What’s the Connection?

By Anne Jacobs

Last month, an article came out in Science warning us that we have lost an alarmingly large number of birds in North America over the past 50 years. In response to that finding, one’s first instinct is to ask, “Well, what can I do?” Some of the problems, such as habitat destruction and climate change, will take large, concerted effort to solve. However, there are small but important steps that we as individuals can take, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has put together a list of them1. One of the steps on that list involves paying attention to the coffee we drink.

Why does coffee matter to birds? Coffee grows well in the tropics, including places like Central and South America. For farmers in those regions, it’s a very important crop. However, one of the common ways to grow coffee involves clearing the land completely and planting nothing but coffee plants (Sun-grown coffee), leaving little if anything of the original forests. Needless to say, such conditions do not lend themselves to bird habitat.

Starting in the 1990s, however, there was a movement away from sun-grown coffee, and various organizations interested in birds, such as the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, began promoting shade-grown coffee as an alternative. As the name implies, shade-grown coffee is planted under larger canopy trees, thus preserving at least part of the forest in a coffee plantation. Are these shade-grown farms as good as untouched, original-growth rainforests? Probably not. However, they certainly provide more habitat for birds than the sun-grown coffee fields, while still giving the farmers a cash crop. Some studies suggest that, in terms of bird number, they are comparable to secondary forests2, or forests that have regrown after the previous logging.  Shade-grown coffee is one way to encourage conservation on private land.

How coffee is grown has the potential to impact the birds you see here in Georgia. Many of the species we know and love, including orioles, thrushes, and warblers, are migratory species. Once they have finished breeding in the United States and Canada, they migrate down to spend the winter in places like Belize and Costa Rica. To protect these birds, we need to protect as much of their habitat as possible, be it their winter or summer homes.

1Cornell Lab or Ornithology. (2019) Seven Simple Actions to Help Birds. Link: https://www.birds.cornell.edu/home/seven-simple-actions-to-help-birds/

2Hernandez et al. (2013) Coffee Agroforests Remain Beneficial for NeotropicalBird Community Conservation across Seasons. PLoS One 8: e65101

Link: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0065101&type=printable

November

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