THE ELLIS BIRD FARM GROUNDS AND VISITOR CENTRE ARE CLOSED
our online gift shop AND book store is always open here
Sandy Van Dijk is our new Site Manager and Biologist! She is a local raised on a farm north of Tees. When she was a child, she came to Ellis Bird Farm on a school trip, and she has returned to visit more recently. Sandy has work experience as a wildlife biologist/technician and fisheries technician in consulting, private companies and non-profit organizations. She brings to Ellis Bird Farm a love for birds and passion for education, research and conservation.
Learn more about local wildlife!
Improve the health and biodiversity of your yard and garden! Enjoy attracting and watching backyard birds! With spring arriving and folks still staying close to home, now is the perfect time to start transforming your yard and garden into a haven for wildlife. Ellis Bird Farm has three excellent books that will help you attract and enjoy birds and other local wildlife. We are offering same-day shipping on all orders. Order here
NatureScape Alberta: Creating and Caring for Wildlife Habitat at Home
This book is an Alberta-specific, go-to reference for transforming your yard into a haven for wildlife. Learn how to create backyard habitat--what to plant, how to build simple bird houses, bumble bee abodes, bat houses (even toad homes!) and how to install water features. Bring nature closer to you by following the easy-to-follow steps outlined in this book. More info here.
Backyard Bird Feeding: An Alberta Guide
Attract a wide variety of birds to your yard simply by offering them different types of food. This book covers everything you need to know about what kinds of food to offer, what birds you will attract, and how to deal with challenges that might arise. It also includes a listing (with colour pictures) of all the species that will come to backyard bird feeders in Alberta. More info here.
Beauty Everywhere: Nature Photo Essays by Myrna Pearman
Learn about Alberta’s amazing wildlife. This book is a compilation of short nature photo essays by EBF Biologist, Myrna Pearman. A perfect book for families to read together at home. Or mail to Grandma or Grandma if they are shut in. Be inspired by the beauty that can be found everywhere around us! More info here.
Ellis Bird Farm Publishes Scientific Paper
Thanks to careful record keeping by Winnie Ellis and EBF Biologists, EBF has been able to publish a scientific paper showing that Mountain Bluebirds have advanced their arrival dates in Central Alberta by about 19 days over a 58-year period.
ABSTRACT: Much attention has been given to the topic of bird phenology in response to climate change. While strong evidence supports a general pattern of advancement in spring migrants’ arrival dates with warming temperatures, the mechanisms underlying these changes are not clearly understood. We summarize the spring arrival of the Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) in central Alberta from 58 years of data and examine the influence of temperature and snow cover on the patterns of arrival. We hypothesized that a significant advance in the Mountain Bluebird’s first arrival date was related to weather variables. In central Alberta, March temperatures increased, and first arrival dates for the Mountain Bluebird advanced 0.33 days per year from 1961 to 2018 or 19 days over the 58 years. However, temperatures on the date of arrival have cooled slightly (2.8 °C) over the study period, and snow depth on the date of arrival decreased slightly (1.5 cm) over the study period, which may influence early migrants’ opportunities for foraging. Although Mountain
Bluebirds have arrived at our central Alberta study area considerably earlier over the past decades, temperatures and snow depth have been highly variable, suggesting that the species is likely responding to multiple cues that influence its arrival dates. Given the Mountain Bluebird’s migratory nature, environmental and behavioral stimuli en route to breeding areas likely exert considerable influence on arrival dates. - Myrna Pearman
150+ Things to Do in Nature: Nature Alberta launches brand new online story map
Check Alberta's new app that shares all kinds of information about natural wonders in our beautiful province. These are interactive maps where you can learn about Alberta's Nature, Clubs, Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas, Wetlands, Heritage Trees, Biospheres and the stories of Albertans. Did you know there are heritage trees right in Lacombe? out Nature Alberta's new app that shares all kinds of information about natural wonders in our beautiful province. These are interactive maps where you can learn about Alberta's Nature, Clubs, Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas, Wetlands, Heritage Trees, Biospheres and the stories of Albertans. Did you know there are heritage trees right in Lacombe? Check it out here
Monarch Butterfly at Ellis Bird Farm
Our resident butterfly expert, Benny Acorn, was excited to discover an adult Monarch butterfly at the EBF site on Tuesday, June 23. Its wings were well worn, indicating that it had migrated a long distance to reach the farm
This sighting is an exciting one, since Monarch butterflies rarely make it this far north. The last big eruption in Alberta was in 2012.
If you see a Monarch butterfly, please email us (image required to substantiate the sighting) at email@example.com