Friday July 21
On Friday, we gathered together the founding members of Ellis Bird Farm as well as the early leadership team from the Prentiss site to collect oral history of both the Prentiss site as well as EBF.. We finished off the day with a wine and cheese, a power point presentation about the history of Ellis Bird Farm, and presentations by Gary Krigbaum and Don Young. Gary Krigbaum, who now lives in Iowa, was the General Services Manager at Union Carbide when they were looking to purchase the Ellis farm. He was able to secure the land by promising Charlie and Winnie that the company would look after their birds. He is shown here looking through some of the early EBF archives with his wife, Pam.
Don Young, who now lives in Ontario, was the CFO of the Prentiss site as well an early EBF board member. We were very pleased to also have Walter Lindley, the first Prentiss Manager, in attendance. Don and Walter are shown here meeting for the first time in many years.
We had planned to conduct individual interviews outside on Friday, but the rain and wind forced us inside. Luckily, Winnie's old chicken coop (now called the Hen House Studio) was the perfect venue for doing the recordings.
Saturday July 22
Saturday was a big day at EBF, as we celebrated Canada 150+ and EBF's 35th anniversary. We also had a special smudge ceremony for our new circle deck, which was installed to honour Indigenous history in Central Alberta. The smudge was led by Lyle North-Wind Richards. We also served delicious cupcakes (created by the Lakeside Ladies), had crafts for the children, had a garden tour (led by Cynthia Pohl) and west woods tour (led by Tony Blake), hosted a presentation about the history of Ellis Bird Farm (Myrna Pearman), and heard from special guests who shared stories about the early days of Ellis Bird Farm.
We were also happy to have Beverly Buchwald visit the site. Beverly is the widow of Glen Buchwald, who had a secret meeting with Gary Krigbaum when Union Carbide was first trying to secure land for the Prentiss site. The Buchwalds have been very generous supporters of Ellis Bird Farm.
A big thanks to Morris Flewwelling for MC'ing the afternoon and for sharing some of his never-before-heard stories about Charlie and Winnie Ellis.
A celebration will be held on Saturday, July 22 to commemorate Canada’s 150+ birthday as well as Ellis Bird Farm’s 35th Anniversary. The celebrations will pay special tribute to Indigenous Peoples as well as to the founding members of Ellis Bird Farm and the Prentiss site. It will also include children’s crafts and games. Special Canada Day cupcakes will be served by the Lakeside Social Workers as an afternoon treat. There will be a grounds tour and a tour to the west woods. A bird banding station will also be set up on site for the afternoon.
Site Open: 11:00 AM -5:00 PM
Crafts and Games 1:00 – 4:00 PM
1:00 PM –1: 25 PM Welcome by EBF board member, Barb Shepherd, and Prentiss Leadership Team
Introduction of EBF and Prentiss pioneers
1:30 – 1:45: Deck Opening and Smudge Ceremony
1:45 – 2:15: Break, coffee and cupcakes served
2:15 PM – History of EBF by Myrna Pearman
2:45 – Morris Flewwelling (MC) and special guests, Gary Krigbaum and Don Young.
3:45 Group Picture
West Woods Tour
Bird Banding Station
1 – 4 PM
Ellis Bird Farm was very happy to collect some flea- and blowfly-infested nesting material from our Purple Martin nests for an exhibit being developed for the new Royal Alberta Museum (RAM). Dr. Jocelyn Hudon, Curator of Ornithology for RAM visited EBF last week to pick up the material and tour the site. He was also interested in learning about Alisha Ritchie's research on Purple Martins.
Ellis Bird Farm hosted a team of bird banders at the site to mass trap Purple Martins on July 10. Under the guidance of EBF's Alisha Ritchie (who just received her MSc studying martin migration at EBF), Dr. Geoff Holroyd and his team from the Beaverhill Bird Observatory and Dr. Glen Hvenegaard with his team from the Camrose Wildlife and Stewardship Society, assisted us in checking all compartments to trap and retrap adult martins. The effort was successful, with over 100 adults processed. We were all done by 2:00 AM!
Today's very well-received Knee High Nature program was about deer and moose. The program ended with the children making their own creatures out of cork and pipe cleaners!
Ellis Bird Farm hosted a very successful Bluebird Festival on Saturday June 8. Our thanks to the following: Jazz Explosion for providing musical entertainment, Susanne Maidment for setting up her hummingbird banding station, Nature Alberta for their Nature Kids display, Red Deer River Watershed Alliance for their station at the pier, and Susan Manyluk for her Holme Hus Antique booth. A special thanks to all the volunteers who endured the heat with smiles, and for our amazing EBF staff who scurried all day long.
First image: We were very honoured to recognize two veteran bluebird trail operators this year for the Blue Feather Award, Vern Connelly of Alix (center) and Bill Ruttan (left) of Provost. The awards were presented by EBF Chairman, Bob Winchell (right).
We were very happy to have three members of the Red Deer Kiwanis Club and Red Deer Twilight Homes Foundation visit EBF last week. They were very pleased with the new paved path and circle deck that they provided funds for. Ron Biel designed and built the deck with assistance from EBF staff. Posing on the deck with Marvin, Alec and Larry is MEGlobal board member, Darcy Gabert.
Visitors to Ellis Bird Farm had a wonderful Canada Day Celebration on July 1 Highlights of the day included singing Oh Canada, readings by summer staff from the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on our new circle deck, Canada Day crafts for the children, and presenting "Canada Jay" T shirts to Ron and Karen Edwards of Caroline. The Edwards' kindly and generously hosted the celebrity Gray Jays, "Elizabeth and Philip" and allowed EBF to live stream them. Myrna Pearman delivered two short presentations, one on Gray Jays (which we hope will be renamed Canada Jays) and an update on her wildlife wanderings and photography.
Thanks to everyone who came to visit!
Ellis Bird Farm
Video Stories here
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.