Ellis Bird Farm
This farm is a bird sanctuary originally for bluebirds but this farm land and its many birdhouses have become home to a thriving colony of purple martins, house wrens, Robins, Cedar Waxwings, tree swallows, barn swallows, and American Goldfinches.We arrived to the sound of hammers pounding while a school groupmade bird boxes. There is a tea house here that tantalised us with delicious home made Rhubarb pie and ice cream and a bottomless cup of coffee, also delicious.We sat out on the patio then were jumping out of our seats to capture images of birds that would come to visit at one of the many feeders.
Bluebirds require a large territory and were the main thrust of the farm originally run by Winnie and John Ellis, now supported partially by the huge Union Carbide plant across the road. The bluebirds are off site but 350 boxes are maintained by the farm staff on a nest box trail in 100 square miles surrounding the farm. The population was decimated during a heavy snowstorm in April of 2008 but is slowly building up again.
There were two Great Horned Owls that hung around the wood lot but one was killed and the other moved off. There were rumours of anew resident but it is no longer here.This is the place where the Purple Martins are loaded with radios that record their flights from Alberta to the Amazon rainforest and back.
Other than eat pie and ice cream we roamed the gardens for hours and took lots of photos of the birds that we did see.
One of many of the Purple Martin houses on the property with two male residents.
A gazebo built by Union Carbide Ltd. where many Barn Swallows nest.
A busy Bee pollinating the Lilac bushes beside the Tea Room patio.
I found a female Goldfinch at the feeder beside the store.
The male American Goldfinch came for a visit at tea time.
There are a few Cedar Waxwings hanging around.
The air is full of the songs of House Wrens singing. They nest in the blue bird boxes on display around the yard.
The Tree swallows also nest in the bird boxes in the yard.Flowers have been planted everywhere, attracting butterflies and birds, including hummingbirds.Here are a few examples:
Ellis Bird Farm is on the net, http://www.ellisbirdfarm.ca and located south east of the City of Lacombe, Alberta. This is an educational and fun place to visit . I always plan to visit for the whole day, and have come back for more than one visit.Will post more photos from here tomorrow.
Your images are such a treat. What an amazing treasure to have so close, the fact that it also has a tea house with pie…pretty amazing.
June 19, 2014 at 9:19 pm
A good friend and photo companion was in the mix too. Life doesn’t get better than that, in my opinion.
June 20, 2014 at 10:47 am
Beautiful pictures Jane, it was the most delicious day!
June 19, 2014 at 10:24 pm
Thank YOU, Maxine.
June 20, 2014 at 10:45 am
gorgeous collection 🙂
June 20, 2014 at 4:00 am
Thank you, Joshi.
June 20, 2014 at 10:45 am
There is nothing like nature to lift the spirits!
June 20, 2014 at 5:12 am
It really teaches me what “being in the moment” means.
June 20, 2014 at 10:42 am