We're thrilled that after two years of research and planning, the Bird-Friendly Maple Habitat program materials we developed are available for participating producers to begin using this fall. Audubon Vermont has partnered with the Vermont Maple Sugarmakers' Association and the State of Vermont to develop standards and conduct field audits for producers wishing to participate.
While maple syrup can look and taste the same, it can come from forests that are managed in dramatically different ways. Park-like maple monocultures may look tidy and increase sap production over the short-term, but they support relatively low numbers of birds and bird species. These same forests are also less likely to be able to respond to the stresses of insect outbreaks, disease or a changing climate.
What Can You Do?
Look for the label. To recognize and support participating maple producers for their good work, look for maple syrup containers with the label indicating the syrup was produced in a bird-friendly forest habitat.
Maple sugarbushes are inherently good for birds, but forests that are intentionally managed with birds in mind are even better!
For more information, contact Audubon Vermont.