Working through the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, researcher Brett Bailey is working to quantify habitat quality in communities of Neotropical migrant birds across a landscape dominated by small coffee farms and forest fragments. His study utilizes a three tiered approach towards collecting data, incorporating repeated point counts, telemetry, and mist netting. A species of high concern, the Wood Thrush, occurs at approximately 80% of the coffee sites and represents an important target species for this study.
The Wood Thrush is one of many migratory songbirds that spend their winters foraging in the tropical forests of central America. When large sections of forest are cleared to make way for traditional coffee plantations, the Wood Thrush may lose critical habitat. Shade-grown coffee plantations preserve this potentially vital habitat, as researcher Brett Bailey explains in this short documentary.