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Owlets steal the show at Ellis Bird Farm season opening

Three owlets stole the show at the Ellis Bird Farm’s season opening, as people crowded around the branches they were perched on.

The three are the offspring of the bird farm’s resident great horned owls Ellie and Albert.

Site manager and resident biologist Myrna Pearman said there is a “wonderful summer” planned for the bird farm.

“The excitement today for everybody are the three new fully-fledged owls right down by the path,” said Pearman. “Everyone is enjoying watching them. That was the highlight today.”

This season is the bird farm’s 35th in operation. They are celebrating the anniversary with a big event on July 22 that will feature Pearman talking about the farm’s history and Morris Flewwelling (former Red Deer mayor), Gary Kirgbaum and Dennis Champ talk. The three helped found the farm. Steven Tannas, of Tannas Conservation Services Ltd., will give two tours that require pre-registration.

“We’re going to have the original founding team of Ellis Bird Farm and the Prentiss Plant be on site,” said Pearman. “We’re going have some programs about the history of Ellis Bird Farm and enable the public to come and meet the people who were responsible for Ellis Bird Farm.”

The bird farm’s anniversary also happens to align with Canada’s 150th anniversary. Pearman said they are “dove-tailing” the two celebrations.

“Other than that we have our other regular festivals like the Bug Jamboree (Aug. 12) and the Bluebird Festival (July 8),” said Pearman.

But on Monday, a lot of the focus was on the three owls. Cat Perry, who has helped on the bird farm’s webcam, was on hand to talk with visitors about the owls. A spotting scope was also set up to help visitors see, however they weren’t shy and sat in the open for people to get a look.

Pearman also gave a presentation based on stories from her book Beauty Everywhere, a collection of her columns published in the Advocate.

New to the farm this year is a paved wheelchair path from the visitor’s centre to the cafe, a new deck area and a demonstration pollinator garden.

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