A home for mountain bluebirds – 20 minutes SE of Lacombe

The Ellis Bird Farm is a working farm and bird sanctuary for tree swallows, mountain bluebirds and native cavity nesters. Kids love the bird and bug themed festivals, running the trail and eating grilled cheese in the tea house. Admission to the farm is by donation.

Nesting box image from the Ellis Bird Farm’s photo gallery.

60 years of nature conservancy

In the early 1950s, Charlie Ellis – our Mr. Bluebird – started hanging nesting boxes on his family farm just outside Lacombe. Soon he and his sister Winnie had a collection of 300 boxes around the perimeter of the property and created a sanctuary for all kinds of local wildlife.

Today the farm has the world’s largest outdoor collection of bluebird nest boxes – plus beaver ponds, beautiful butterfly gardens, baby goats and a nature trail.

Special days to visit

Come for the Bluebird Festival on July 12 and eat lunch, listen to live music and shop at the market. You can probably guess that you’ll also learn all about the mountain bluebirds that live here and for $5 you can build your own nesting box to take home.

The annual Bug Jamboree draws 300 nature lovers to listen to John Acorn sing his nature songs, learn about insects and spiders and build a nesting box of your very own. This year, the jamboree runs on Aug 9 from 1–3 pm.

They also offer photography workshops, interpretive nature walks and kids day camps throughout the summer.

Eat local at the tea house

The tea house serves home-cooked food from Lacombe’s local farms including Billyco Junction, Branson Family Gardens, Markerville Berry and Vegetable Farm and Country Thyme Farm. You’ll find fresh salads, wholesome soups and sandwiches on fresh baked bread. Kids love the grilled cheese, chicken and cheese wrap and of course, ice cream.

Planning a birthday?

Birthday partiers at the farm will build a bird box, make tree cookies, see what’s in the pond, play games about nature, learn about bats and owls and check a bird box for babies. The cost is $10 per child (min $50) and includes the bird box, gift bags and programming.

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