Article in the Red Deer Advocate column here.
Ellis Bird Farm enjoyed a wonderful closing day, with a record number of people coming out to help celebrate a very successful season. The day started off with Alisha Ritchie delivering a well-received presentation about her thesis research, conducted on Purple Martins at EBF. The Golden Music Makers entertained again (for the 16th year!) to an enthusiastic audience. Then at 3 PM, Barb Shepherd (assisted by Brian Biggs and Claudia Lipski) did the raffle draw. Barb kindly made a beautiful bluebird quilt, which was the subject of much admiration over the summer. Other raffle items were a bird feeder donated by the Botha Hutterian Brethren and a collector bird plate donated by Lorraine Neal. We were glad that Nettie and Joe Young paid us a visit - Joe rebuilt Charlie's old Farmall tractor many years ago. The tractor is on display at the site and much enjoyed by visitors. At the end of the day, Claudia Lipski and a crowd of youngsters released our garter snake back into the wild and Mariilyn Jones came to retrieve her goats. These goats, which Marilyn loans us each summer, are well loved by our young visitors. We appreciate board members Barb Shepherd, Brian Biggs, Gordon Johnon and Leo de Groot for supporting us on closing day. See you next year!
Article in the Red Deer Advocate column here.
EBF staff spent Friday morning doing a clean out of the Purple Martin nests. A special thank you to Debra McKinnon for volunteering to help us with this messy but necessary task. After entering the data, we have confirmed that the site hosted 100 pairs of martins this year, the same number as last year. The birds started departing for their wintering grounds in Brazil during the second week of August. By August 19, all had left and the site was eerily quiet.
Our thanks to Kerry Wood Nature Centre for sharing some of the bird seed that was donated to them from Peavey Mart! We will use this seed in our feeders over the winter.
Monday, September 4th marks Ellis Bird Farm's final day open for 2017. We will be celebrating our 35th year open in the usual Closing Day festive manner, with live music from the Golden Music Makers out of Red Deer, a sale in our gift shop and all our exhibits open for display. We'll be open 11AM until 5PM, with the Golden Music Makers playing 1PM until 3PM. Come enjoy one last visit before we close for the winter.
Alisha Ritchie, who recently graduated with an MSc from the University of Manitoba, will be giving a summary of this thesis research at 11:30 AM.
The Busy Martin: Factors Influencing Purple Martin Nest Activity
Alisha will discuss some of the findings of her thesis, focusing her findings from the RFID work carried out at Ellis Bird Farm (EBF). She will compare nest activity at EBF with that at other colonies across North America.
Dear Myrna, Claudia, Shaylyn and Everyone,
As Writers, it is our pleasure to present our gift of appreciation to you for the wonderful day we had last Saturday at Ellis Bird Farm.
With heartfelt appreciation,
Jane and Writers of the August 8th Writing Retreat.
Click on DOWNLOAD FILE to view.
Diane Cote of Red Deer generously donated a hand-painted feeder and thermometer holder to Ellis Bird Farm. These art items were built and decorated by Diane's sister, Denise Côté and her business partner Johanne Gagnon from Ste- Luce - sur – Mer, Quebec. More of her work can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our thanks to Ann Currie and team at Home Depot who generously donated a pallet of sunflower seeds to Ellis Bird Farm! Our sincere thanks. Also a big thanks to Ron Biel for picking up and delivering the seeds back to the farm.
Recently, Edmonton-based blogger Linda Hoang stopped by EBF as part of her road trip across Central Alberta. She visited a number of sites around Red Deer and Lacombe as part of an project to suggest and critique local travel options. She posted a glowing review of Ellis Bird Farm on her blog:
Our 2017 live nestcam season has come to an end. Thank you to all of you for helping to make it a success. It proved to be a tremendous outreach tool with millions of views over the past weeks.
We have put together the following time lapse video to memorialize the season as well as be a teaching tool. Please help us continue the outreach by sharing the video via your social media avenues.
Purple Martin Nest Timelapse
Watch as a nest of Purple Martins at the Purple Martin Conservation Association headquarters in Erie, PA progresses from eggs to fledglings.
Friday July 21
On Friday, we gathered together the founding members of Ellis Bird Farm as well as the early leadership team from the Prentiss site to collect oral history of both the Prentiss site as well as EBF.. We finished off the day with a wine and cheese, a power point presentation about the history of Ellis Bird Farm, and presentations by Gary Krigbaum and Don Young. Gary Krigbaum, who now lives in Iowa, was the General Services Manager at Union Carbide when they were looking to purchase the Ellis farm. He was able to secure the land by promising Charlie and Winnie that the company would look after their birds. He is shown here looking through some of the early EBF archives with his wife, Pam.
Don Young, who now lives in Ontario, was the CFO of the Prentiss site as well an early EBF board member. We were very pleased to also have Walter Lindley, the first Prentiss Manager, in attendance. Don and Walter are shown here meeting for the first time in many years.
We had planned to conduct individual interviews outside on Friday, but the rain and wind forced us inside. Luckily, Winnie's old chicken coop (now called the Hen House Studio) was the perfect venue for doing the recordings.
Saturday July 22
Saturday was a big day at EBF, as we celebrated Canada 150+ and EBF's 35th anniversary. We also had a special smudge ceremony for our new circle deck, which was installed to honour Indigenous history in Central Alberta. The smudge was led by Lyle North-Wind Richards. We also served delicious cupcakes (created by the Lakeside Ladies), had crafts for the children, had a garden tour (led by Cynthia Pohl) and west woods tour (led by Tony Blake), hosted a presentation about the history of Ellis Bird Farm (Myrna Pearman), and heard from special guests who shared stories about the early days of Ellis Bird Farm.
We were also happy to have Beverly Buchwald visit the site. Beverly is the widow of Glen Buchwald, who had a secret meeting with Gary Krigbaum when Union Carbide was first trying to secure land for the Prentiss site. The Buchwalds have been very generous supporters of Ellis Bird Farm.
A big thanks to Morris Flewwelling for MC'ing the afternoon and for sharing some of his never-before-heard stories about Charlie and Winnie Ellis.
Ellis Bird Farm
When purchasing from our online bookstore, Myrna will be happy to "sign" any of her books for you.
All proceeds from the sales of these books support the education, conservation, and research programs of Ellis Bird Farm.
· Household brooms
· Yarn and plastic lacing cord
· Umbrellas to loan out to visitors on rainy days
· Wooden or nature-based plastic beads for our school and day camp programs
· Old fashioned one-speed bike (to keep the farmstead theme of EBF). This would be used for staff to open and close the gate and other errands around the site.
· Leaf blowers
· Bistro sets (small table, two chairs
We celebrate the contributions cats and birds make to our lives, our environment, and our communities, and invite Canadians to consider what they can do to make Canada a safer place for both cats and birds. Here.
Ellis Bird Farm