The 2019 Bat Night was a wonderful success! Over 50 people came out to learn more about bats on Saturday, August 17th. Our thanks to Cory Olson for giving a presentation and enabling folks to listen to the bats with bat detectors. Thanks to EBF staff members, Shaye Hill and Claudia Lipski, for leading the bat games, crafts and tours. Finally, thanks also to Judy Boyd for bringing out Betty the Bat so folks could see a bat up close. Betty gave birth to a baby while at Medicine River Wildlife Centre and we were pleased to release the young bat into our Big Brown Bat colony at the site. We checked the box after all the bats had exited last night and it was empty, so the young bat is now flying with its kin!
The Master Gardeners Association of Alberta visited Ellis Bird Farm for a tour of the site gardens. The tour was led by Linda Sommers and Judy Schwartz.
Our summer student, Shaye Hill, had the exciting opportunity on August 14th to release a young Big Brown Bat into one of the bat houses at EBF. The young bat was born at Medicine River Wildlife Centre (MRWC) to a female (Betty) that had been brought in earlier in the summer with an injury. They were totally surprised when she gave birth to this baby!
We checked the bat box earlier in the day and determined that there were still six Big Brown Bats in it, so the fostered bat was released and we are hoping that it will get the necessary flying and hunting lessons from the other bats.
Judy Boyd, shown here with Shaye after the release, has volunteered to return with Betty to EBF for our Bat Night so folks can see a wild Big Brown Bat up close.
Judy and Betty are two more reasons to come to our Bat Night at Bird Farm this Saturday night! We are charging only $10 a family (prepaid or when registering). Learn about Alberta bats with bat expert, Cory Olson, and do a bat walk with a bat detector to "hear" bats! Pay and register here
Bug Jamboree, an event that usually occurs in the sweltering heat, fell on a cool day with threatening stormy skies. However, this ever-popular celebration of entomology was once again well attended. John Acorn, the Nature Nut, performed to a packed Visitor Centre; Dr. Ken Frye, Dr. David Lawrie and Dr. Charley Bird were all on hand to offer their expertise and answer questions; the dipping pier was ably supervised by Cheryl Tebby and Alex Lapierre of the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute and Rosemarie Ferjuc from the Red Deer River Watershed Alliance. The Ellis Centre was our indoor site for bug-related crafts and several enthusiastic volunteers assisted kids creating a whole variety of creative projects. Finally, our annual Butterfly Count offered up several specimens of local butterflies and moths. We are grateful to our scientists, our volunteers, our staff and all our visitors for making the 2019 Bug Jamboree once again a resounding success, despite the gloomy weather!
This past week, Ellis Bird Farm hosted an Art and Nature Day Camp with guest artist Molly Siebenga. Molly and the youth spent the day creating Earth Art: mud sculptures decorated with natural materials found onsite. They also wove nature looms. The youth had a wonderful time trying their hand at sculpting and everyone was inspired by their creative efforts.
Morning with the Martins, held this past Sunday and Monday, was co-hosted by EBF's Myrna Pearman and Del McKinnon of the Purple Martin Conservancy in Ponoka. Del has an amazing knowledge of Purple Martins and he and his wife Debra have been instrumental in mentoring other martin keepers in Alberta and beyond. They have overseen the development of the huge EBF colony. Thanks to the McKinnons for sharing their Purple Martin wisdom and to all our visitors who joined us for two very special mornings to enjoy these beautiful birds.
Happy Chickens: our bantam chickens continue to entertain and delight visitors. And Mr Crow has been seen getting very friendly with the hens.
Ellis Bird Farm was honoured to have been invited to provide naturalists for the July 14th Battle River Train Excursion. This excursion (billed as "What's In that Field") focused on local habitats and farming practices. Claudia Lipski and Myrna Pearman provided natural history information, bird identification tips, and shared details about EBF and its wildlife at one of the stops. We highly recommend this train excursion, which is operated by a non-profit group and supported by local volunteers. There are several more rides coming up. For more details contact www.friendsofbrr.com or Facebook@BattleRiverRail.
Our Fred Schutz Library continues to grow. A big thanks to Wayne Kinsella for donating all his past issues of the Alberta Naturalist (now Nature Alberta).
On July 20, several local fibre artists provided spinning and felting demonstrations. Michelle Houston is shown here demonstrating the amazing art of felting and Donna Rudd demonstrates spinning.
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.