The Ellis Bird Farm is open from Victoria Day to Labour Day (May 19-September 1). It is open from 11:00AM-5:00PM every Tuesday through Sunday, and open on holiday Mondays. Ellis Bird Farm is located 8 km east (on Highway 12) and 8 km south (Prentiss Road/RR 26-0) of Lacombe. The farm is on the west side of the road, across from the MEGlobal petrochemical facility.
Ellis Bird Farm is incredibly accommodating, especially when it comes to groups. They can host up to 50 people per group to ensure everybody can participate in the discussions and activities, along with smaller groups who would like an expert staff member to share their knowledge and gain nest-box building or pond dipping experience. If you would like to just experience the bird farm on your own and at your own pace, they also offer a self-guided tour that teaches you about the farm with easy step-by-step directions.
The Ellis Bird Farm was officially established in 1982, but it took years of hard work to become the remarkable place it is today. It all began when Charlie and Winnie took over their parent’s farm back in the early 1950’s. It was around this time that Charlie began to place nest-boxes for Mountain Bluebirds around the Lacombe-area farm. After about 20 years of the siblings rimming the area with nest-boxes, the Ellis Bird Farm became the largest recorded nesting density of Mountain Bluebirds. The Ellis siblings continued their lifelong passion and have left an incredible and long-lasting conservatory for the native Lacombe area birds, as well as an astounding legacy that will undeniably carry on throughout Lacombe’s history.
The Ellis Bird Farm offers plenty of fun activities for kids of all ages. These activitiesare also educational and focus on wildlife typically found around the area; from beavers and bugs to owls and bird feathers. The farm also hosts school tours throughout the spring months, and includes pond dipping, nest box building, playing with the farm animals along with other hands on activities. The pond dipping is a major draw for the kids, giving them the opportunity to catch different pond critters and learn about the different ones they caught and the roles they play in the environment. Another kid favorite is the nest-box building, giving kids the chance to create their very own birdhouse – with adult supervision of course.
Activities for Adults
The Ellis Bird Farm not only caters to kid’s interests, but also to adults and the kids at heart. Any naturalists would love to come in and explore the land or even take a walk through the paths in West Woods. Bird watching is exquisite and if you are wondering where the birds fly, they also track the Purple Martin flying routes. There are a wide variety of workshops that cater to many different interests such as learning about the medicinal plants or learning how to capture the perfect moment here during a photography workshop.
Birthday Parties and Day Camps
The Ellis Bird Farm also hosts birthday parties as well as a variety of day camps, such as the Art & Nature Day Camp. These day camps allow the kids to experience all different types of activities including the favorites, pond dipping and nest box building, as well as arts and crafts for the kids to make something to remember this experience forever. Although they welcome and encourage people to stop by anytime, the day camps do require you to pre-register.
The Ellis Bird Farm is opening a brand new Visitor Centre! Although it is not quite completed, they look forward to the opening in July. The brand new Visitor Centre is hard to miss, catching everyone’s eye with the red barn style look. One staff exclaimed she was very excited for the opening, as it will give them more space to further provide interactive activities for the visitors and more space to do so.
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