Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff

Bird Farm opens wings to huge audience

The Ellis Bird Farm will flock to new popularity in the United States after a short television clip about the Central Alberta attraction airs on public television.

The Ellis Bird Farm will flock to new popularity in the United States after a short television clip about the Central Alberta attraction airs on public television.

KSPS Spokane is airing its Northwest Profiles program that runs tonight from 7-8 p.m.

The show features four small profiles, three of which are in Montana and Washington.

The remaining clip features the Fine-Feathered Farm located at Prentiss, southeast of Lacombe.

The show describes the bird farm within Alberta’s heartland and as a 640-acre haven for mountain bluebirds, tree swallows and other “cavity nesters”.

“With fabulous flower and water gardens and the world’s largest outdoor collection of bluebird nesting boxes, it attracts tourists as well,” says the KSPS website.

Myrna Pearman, the bird farm’s biologist and site services manager, said they are “very honoured” to be chosen for the program.

Pearman said the television crew came up last summer and were interested in the story of Charlie and Winnie Ellis who took over farm operations from their parents in the 1950s.

In the years that followed, Charlie and Winnie rimmed the fields with some 300 nest boxes for mountain bluebirds and tree swallows, built and erected houses for black-capped chickadees, purple martins and flickers, and established a huge program for feeding winter birds.

The television crew was also interested in how the farm has partnered with industry in the area.

The bluebirds had already fledged by the time the crew arrived in late July, so footage of them were given by videographer Phil French of Lousana.

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