Do I need to make a reservation in the Ellis Café?
It is always a good idea to make a reservation, as the café is often fully booked for lunch . However, there is seldom a problem getting in for afternoon tea. If you wish to make a reservation, the Ellis Café can be reached at 403-597-6476.
How long should I plan to stay on the site for?
If you are a birdwatcher or a keen gardener, plan to spend the afternoon. If you are just interested in seeing the site, then two hours is usually sufficient.
What is the cost to visit?
We do not charge an admission fee. However, we are most grateful for donations.
Can we bring a lunch and have a picnic at Ellis Bird Farm?
Yes, you are welcome to bring your own lunch to Ellis Bird Farm. We have numerous picnic tables around the site for use.
Is the site wheelchair accessible?
All trails and facilities are wheelchair accessible. We have a loaner wheelchair on site.
Can I bring my dog?
Dogs are welcome on site, as long as they are kept on a leash and are cleaned up after.
What about parking?
Parking is limited at the site, so we ask all able-bodied visitors to park in the lower parking lot and enjoy the stroll up to the main site. The upper parking lot is reserved for handicapped parking. However, you are welcome to drive up to the site for pick-up and drop-off.
What can I expect to see on the site?
Depending on the weather, expect to see an abundance of backyard birds, including Purple Martin, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch, Black-capped Chickadee, Tree and Barn Swallow, Least Flycather, Yellow Warbler, Cedar Waxwing, Red-winged blackbird, Great Blue Heron and several different species of waterfowl. A pair of Great Horned Owls is nesting on the site this year, so you will be sure to see adults and their two owlets.
The gardens are Ellis Bird Farm have been designed to attract birds and native pollinators. We have several demonstration gardens, including a water garden, xeriscape garden, natureScape garden, hummingbird garden and butterfly garden.
We have small goats and sheep on site over the summer, which are a big hit with the children. Children can go dipping at our pier for pond creatures, participate in a very fun site bingo, check out the interactive games in the Visitor Centre, and build their own bluebird box ($8.00) or chickadee box ($5.00). We encourage visitors to check out the Get to Know Virtual Tour of the EBF site before and after visiting. Here
When is the best time to come to EBF?
If you want to see bluebirds, visit in June. If you want to see the gardens at their best, come in July and August. If you want to see our Purple Martins, be sure to visit before the middle of August.
When is the best time to see bluebirds?
Bluebirds arrive in mid-March and start nesting in early May. They are most active during the month of June. Some pairs raise two broods each season, so there are still bluebirds nesting into mid July.
Why don’t I see bluebirds on the site?
Mountain Bluebirds don’t typically nest where there is a lot of activity and noise. The bluebird population in Alberta was hard hit by an extreme spring snowstorm in 2008, so there are fewer bluebirds nesting now than even a few years ago.
If you have never seen a Mountain Bluebird, we will be happy to accompany you out on the trail to see one (weather permitting). Please ask a Site Attendant. We also lead car pool tours on the bird trail on Sundays at 2 PM (weather permitting). Pre-registration required.
Do you sell Purple Martin bird houses and nestboxes at EBF?
Do you have a question not answered here? Please let us know.
Ellis Bird Farm
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