The last week of October was a busy one for Myrna, as she delivered 6 presentations in 5 days. One of her most well-received talks--Fascinating Backyard Birds: A glimpse into the habits and behaviours of our wild neighbours--was delivered at a well-attended public talk in Alix on October 18th. The presentation was hosted by Curt and Donna Peterson and Doug McDermand (Centre), Alix Home Hardware. Other talks were given at an EBF strategic planning meeting and to the Red Deer Garden Club, Parkland Garden Centre, the Wild Bird Store (Calgary) and the Calgary Area Nestbox Monitors group.
The EBF board of directors thanked Bonnie Mullin at the October meeting for her years of service as the Red Deer River Naturalists rep on the EBF board. Bonnie is moving to British Columbia to be closer to family. thank you Bonnie!
Dr. Dorothy Hill, right, and EBF's bluebird trail monitor, Claudia Lipski, discuss a new bluebird trail app at the recent Calgary and Area Bluebird Trail Monitors Group meeting. The app, developed by Dr Hill and her team at Mt Royal University, was field tested last summer around Calgary and on the EBF bluebird trail.
Each year, the employees of Dow Chemical Canada and MEGlobal take to the ditches to keep their neighborhood clean and free of garbage. In the image above, was taken on Thursday, October 5, while Jean-Yves Vanier, Dow Site Leader and Rozanna Steenbergen, Dow Site Administrator were doing their part to show appreciation for the community they are fortunate to work in. Highway cleanup is an annual event, where Dow Chemical and MEGlobal employees volunteer their time to maintain the litter collecting on Prentiss Road from highway 597 and Lakeside Sargent to pick up trash such as drink cans and bottles, twine and junk food containers. Safety is most important on site, which is why all employees are required to wear high-visibility vests, gloves and carry portable radios. Roadway signage cautioning motorists is displayed throughout the duration of the clean-up.
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.
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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 email@example.com
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