Dr Delano Lewis and EBF summer student, Benny Acorn, have examined some of the insect traps set out around the farm Dr. Lewis is very heartened by the diversity of inserts found in the various habitats.
Our thanks to volunteers, Marilyn Mann (left) and Jan Alexander, as well as the EBF team (Shaye Hill, Carter McLenahan, Mateya Bluett, Myrna Pearman) for assisting our Head Gardener, Linda Sommers, on a "bellflower blitz." Creeping Bellflower, an aggressive invasive, has spread in our gardens so we decided to tackle it and other weeds with a concentrated group effort. Much progress was made!
Dr Delano heads up invertebrate research project at Ellis Bird Farm
Thanks to funding from the Red Deer and District Community Foundation, Ellis Bird Farm is partnering with Dr. Delano Lewis of Burman University to study invertebrates and pollinators on the farm. This important three-year project will study the population and diversity of insects in various habitat areas around the farm, giving us a better picture of our insect fauna.
Several different collection methods will be used, including bee bowls, pitfall traps, Hester-Dandy samplers, fecal samples taken from Mountain Bluebird and Purple Martin droppings (which will be studied for insect DNA) and opportunistic captures. Dr. Lewis will be assisted in his efforts by summer student, Ben Acorn. The traps will be checked multiple times over the summer and the types and numbers of invertebrates will be recorded. This research should reveal to us a cross-section of the insects living in the air, on the soil and in the water at Ellis Bird Farm. Interviews about this project can be found here. VIDEOS HERE
Finally, I feel I need to include a caveat that this is amateur footage. I am not a videographer and these videos are primarily for social media use, so please excuse the background noise and any shakiness.
New Bunny Hutch!
We are very pleased to accept a new beautiful bunny hutch. The hutch, which was created to resemble Charlie's grain elevator, was designed and built by Dale Nagel and his daughters, Rheann and Ronlyn. They made it to honour the memory of Ron Nagel, Dale's late father. Ron was a good friend of the Ellis's and often sought Charlie's advice on bird-related matters. The family, including Ron's wife, Lorraine, were delighted to deliver it to us earlier this week. VIDEOS HERE
We are not sure if we will have animals on the site this season, but this hutch will be a beautiful addition to the gardens and will be ready when the bunnies eventually arrive.
We are grateful to Lacombe County for their offer to assist us by contouring the drainage area around the new bridge and building access ramps. Shown here are Dale Kary and Brandon Maier of Lacombe County planning the work. We are most grateful to Lacombe County for their ongoing support!
Kits Have Arrived!
We are pleased to announce that our feeder and box kits have finally arrived! We can now start selling bluebird and chickadee boxes again. Please contact us if you are looking to buy some. Contact
A total of 19 delighted owl enthusiasts visited EBF on Wednesday May 20, 2020 to get a private and exclusive viewing of the owl family. Participants were also given the opportunity to have a site tour that highlighted the new projects being undertaken by EBF. A curbside Gift Shop was set up and our Research Coordinator, Shaye Hill, had an interesting owl display set up in the Grain Elevator.
The visitors, who came in two groups (1:00- 3:00 PM/ 4:00 - 6:00 PM) and followed health protocols, were treated to great views of Rose and Fred (who are already out of the nest) as well as Minnie and Walter (who are not yet old enough to branch).
The enthusiastic response to this special event - which was held in partnership with Medicine River Wildlife Centre (MRWC) - was very heartening. We thank all the participants for their generous support. Our thanks to Judy Boyd from MRWC for being on hand to talk about owls and animal fostering.
Former EBF board member, Leo de Groot, kindly videotaped the event and collected short interviews from visitors. These video clips will be posted soon.
Excellent owl images by Lori Kupsch.
At least one badger has been making occasional visits to EBF over the past two years. Although rarely seen, its large holes can be seen in various areas around the site. We are pleased to have this iconic mammal as a backyard neighbour!
Ellis Bird Farm
Video Stories here
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.
EBF Wish List
Ellis Bird Farm
Hours of Operation
Monday, May 18 - Monday Sept 7
Tuesday through Sunday 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Holiday Mondays 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Please note that Ellis Bird Farm is closed on most Mondays