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.
Our July 24th Frog, Toads and Salamanders Knee High Nature program, led by Claudia Lipski, was a hit! Children enjoyed learning about these creatures, playing fun games and making unique crafts.
Our thanks to Kami Froese and her children, Jayda and Brit, for sharing a couple of their bunnies with us for the rest of the season.
Many of the young Purple Martins are starting to fledge and our site is filled with the chatter of excited parents and demanding young. Our new observation tower provides an excellent way to get a "birds eye" view of the action. This image is of an adult turfing a snoopy young bird from another nest off its balcony. The adults do not take kindly to their neighbour's youngsters.
We are hosting a "Mornings with the Martins" starting at 9:00 AM on both August 4 and 5th. Although there will be fewer birds than last year, there is still lots of activity. We invite everyone who would like to enjoy the martins (with a morning coffee and muffin!) to join us.
Just recently had my grandsons in the snake and frog program - a huge thank you to the staff at Ellis Bird Farm for putting on these informative and fun programs! Our grandsons enjoyed both programs and could not wait to get to the “hen house.” The programs were very informative and geared to 3 to 8 year olds (actually even 60) as I even learned new things about snakes and frogs.
Thank you to all of you for sharing your love for nature as it is very much appreciated, so fortunate for us to have such a place as Ellis Bird Farm.
Edie Beach with grandsons Gunnar & Gus
Our popular Knee High Nature programs continue! On Wednesday, July 17, Becca Dex led a program about snakes.
Our annual Bluebird Festival fell on a beautiful sunny Saturday and was once again a wonderful success. Jazz Explosion serenaded visitors in the sunshine; Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute was onsite demonstrating the new NatureLynx app; NatureKids promoted nature awareness; the Red Deer River Watershed Alliance educated about wetlands; and Strix Ecological demonstrated bird banding. Our staff and volunteers facilitated crafts and bird feeder building. Our Head Gardener, Linda Sommers, gave garden tours and Claudia LIpski led a bluebird trail tour.
We were pleased to give out the annual Blue Feather Award to Ray and Agnes Woods and to Wim and Marijke Jalink, two Calgary-area couples who have been operating Mountain Bluebird trails in southern Alberta for many years. They were joined by about 15 other past Blue Feather Award recipients for a special Blue Feather Award 20th anniversary reunion. These bluebird trail monitors are to be commended for their significant efforts to help bluebirds and other native cavity-nesting birds. See Blue Feather Award page here for details on the 2019 Blue Feather Awards.
Thanks to everyone who volunteered and who came out to help us celebrate.
Our first Knee High Nature program of the season was a great success! The topic was owls--a type of bird dear to our hearts at EBF, since we have our own resident pair of Great Horned Owls. The program was very well-attended and Claudia entertained and educated children and parents alike with her songs, facts and crafts. There are five more Wednesday sessions for the 2019 Knee High Nature series: please register and pay ahead of time online here.
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.