Bluebirds are returning to Ellis Bird Farm in greater numbers, and are nesting again. (Black Press file photo)

Bluebirds are returning to Ellis Bird Farm in greater numbers, and are nesting again. (Black Press file photo)

Bluebirds are once again flocking to the Ellis Bird Farm, near Joffre

A spring bird count is showing a recovery underway, since a 2008 spring blizzard

Bluebirds are slowly making a comeback at the Ellis Bird Farm near Joffre.

Although population numbers still aren’t what they were before a 2008 spring blizzard killed off hundreds of bluebirds, the latest count is showing a definite recovery, said Carolyn Ross, site operator at Ellis Bird Farm.

“All of our research is showing the population is slowly climbing back up again.”

Ross added bluebirds are being seen nesting in the area again, and “we’ve had a report of the first hatch” — which is an encouraging sign.

This spring, the lens of the Ellis Bird Farm’s “bird cam” is focused on an owl nest containing two owlets. But ongoing research projects have prompted discussions about sticking a live camera feed in swallow or bluebird nests later this season, said Ross. (All the nesting action can be seen on YouTube.)

The Ellis Bird Farm, which officially opened to visitors last weekend, has a working cafe again this summer, after being previously closed for two years due to COVID-19.

Red Seal Chef Sheraz Khan will blend classic flavours from Canada and her native Trinidad and Tobago in lunch fare, with homemade ice cream and pies also on the menu.

Ross said she’s excited to welcome back visitors through an array of special events this spring and summer.

The two biggest events for families will be the Bluebird Festival, featuring some purple marten banding, on July 9, and the Bug Jamboree On Aug. 13.

There will also be some nature talks at the Ellis Bird Farm: Natalia Lisshitz will discuss her bird research project on June 19; Cory Olson will give a “bat talk” on July 23; and Gavin McKinnon will discuss his bird project on Aug. 20.

Other news at the Ellis Bird Farm is an adaptive grazing project on pasture land, which entails rotating cattle though a number of smaller paddocks to allow for more soil regeneration, said Ross.

Also, a solar water system will be operating this season, in partnership with ALUS (Alternative Land Use Service).

More information can be found at ellisbirdfarm.ca as it becomes available.



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

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