Chocolate and Birds - A Growing Passion

The endangered Bicknell's Thrush (photo by Richard Crossley, Wikipedia) nests in the hardwood forests of the East Coast from the US and into Canada. In the winter it migrates south to the Dominican Republic. Learn about the Zorzal Reserve in the DR preserves the birds wintering habitat while also producing delectable chocolate in this article, "How Birds and Chocolate Became a Passion," written by our founder, Sharol Nelson-Embry. You'll also see how birdwatching and chocolate can go together! Bird-friendly chocolate is cacao that is farmed in a way that supports resident and migratory bird life. Cacao that is shade-grown, organic, harvested from wild cacao, or from sustainable, agro-forestry is designated as "Bird friendly."  You can support birds, these very special cacao farmers and chocolate makers through your purchases!


Here are some additional links to articles and studies about how shade-grown cacao (like shade-grown coffee) benefits birds:

American Bird Association: Study Shows Growing Coffee and Cacao in Shade Helps Birds (Aug. 2012)

The Zoological Society of London: The conservation value for birds of cacao plantations with diverse planted shade in Tabasco, Mexico (Animal Conservation, 2000)

Society for Conservation Biology: Conservation through Chocolate: a win-win for biodiversity and farmers in Ecuador's lowland tropics (Mar. 2012)

Smithsonian's National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, Migratory Bird Center: Biodiversity in the Cacao Agroecosystem: Shade Management and Landscape Consideration