Del Spenst shared this excellent image of a Cape May Warbler, photographed on August 24th in the EBF gardens.
Claudia Lipski, Shaye Hill and Lucas Wessner recently tackled the unpleasant job of cleaning out the Purple Martin houses. Purple Martin nests are infested with mites, fleas and blowflies, so precautions (gloves and dust masks) are taken. There are still two active martin nests, which is very late for the season. Once those nests have fledged, we will do the final nestling count. 2019 was not a great year for Purple Martins.
Lucas Wessner, our summer Research Coordinator, smiles as he documents yet another new sighting for the site this year - a Cape May Warbler. The warblers are moving through on their southward migration, with Yellow-rumped and Tennessee Warblers topping the list for numbers. Lucas has spearheaded our EBF Big Birding Year and has documented many new species for the area. We will be posting the full year's checklist soon.
Shaye Hill, who looked after our critters for the season, has released the salamander and two frogs that we had in captivity to show visitors. We will keep the garter snake till after closing, when we will release it back to where we found it.
Ellis Bird Farm was very grateful earlier this month to have Lacombe County Peace Officers, Kyle Friesen and Ray Kawai attend the site to do a "Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design" site assessment. They inspected the site and gave us many good suggestions about how we can better secure both the site and buildings. They are shown here discussing site safety with Cafe Operator, Dustin Barthell.
Our thanks to Lacombe County for offering this very important and valuable service.
MEGlobal Prentiss Social Club enjoyed a fantastic day at the Ellis Bird Farm on August 17, 2019 . Families enjoyed an interactive owl session, pond dipping and the reptile display. It was a great time spent with families and co-workers. The Social Club had 31 people attend, including 12 children. The children had a great time building bird feeders and one of the children was so inspired by seeing a salamander at EBF that he spent the rest of the weekend hunting salamanders at home!
There was great excitement at the farm on the morning of August 20 when a little bantam chick appeared from under one of the broody bantam hens. A few hours later, another little one appeared. The hens, Bertha and Bonnie, have been brooding for about a month now. They made their nests beside each other and have been observing stealing eggs from each other's nests. It appears that the little chicks are being shared too, as they move back and forth between mothers. It will be interesting to see how many more chicks hatch, and how Bertha and Bonnie share parental duties!
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 head gardener Linda Sommers and board member Judy Schwartz. The group shared gardening tips and had a wonderful time together.
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
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.