NEW PROJECT - Ellis Bird Farm Site Manager Myrna Pearman has penned a new book about year-round bird feeding in Alberta. All proceeds from the sale of the book go towards education

NEW PROJECT - Ellis Bird Farm Site Manager Myrna Pearman has penned a new book about year-round bird feeding in Alberta. All proceeds from the sale of the book go towards education

Myrna Pearman pens new book in support of the Ellis Bird Farm

Backyard Bird Feeding: An Alberta Guide arrives in time for Christmas

Alberta experiences four seasons, despite strong evidence that says we only have two winter and construction season. One may think attracting and watching birds may be best suited for the warmer months, but with Myrna Pearman’s newly released book Backyard Bird Feeding: An Alberta Guide, we learn that it is possible to attract and enjoy backyard birds all throughout each season.

Author Pearman is the long time site services manager and biologist at Ellis Bird Farm (EBF), located southeast of Lacombe. She said the book is an exciting new resource for bird enthusiasts across the province, designed for novices to veterans.

”Basically it’s an expanded and revised version of the very first book that I wrote,” she said. “The first edition was printed in 1989 and then the second edition was in 1991.”

Due to the popularity of the first backyard bird feeding book, Pearman was asked to craft a new expanded version this past year.

“It was time to upgrade,” she said. “What this book is about is what you should feed, the history of bird feeding and the emphasis of naturescaping. That’s what EBF demonstrates butterfly gardens and hummingbird gardens. This gives information about what you should feed, how to put it out, the different types of feed, how to feed in the summer and what to do with challenges like what happens when the ravens, crows, magpies or raccoons show up.”

The writing process was going along well until Pearman realized they were short of some photos to include in the book.

A call out was then made, first on Facebook, followed by an agriculture newspaper, for photo submissions from across the prairies.

“That generated around 800 submissions,” noted Pearman.

Pearman then put working on the book on hold this past summer, due to the opening of the bird farm for the season. She was then approached by a new corporate sponsor, who offered to help fund the printing of the book. By July, the rush was on to have the book ready for November for the holiday season.

“So I basically went into hibernation for four months and here it is,” said Pearman. “It’s been a full year. From the middle of July to the middle of October, it consumed my life. It’s just such a big project.”

A true labour of love, the new book features over 60 photographers and illustrations by Alberta artist Gary Ross. The last portion of the book details the actual types of birds you can attract into your backyard like hummingbirds and orioles.

“It was kind of a community effort and all the proceeds support the education, research and conservation efforts of the bird farm,” said Pearman of the book.

Pearman added that EBF plans to emphasize the educational use of the funds, leaning more towards supporting the educational programs offered at the farm.

Throughout the three decades, Pearman has penned several nature-related books. As the site manager of EBF, she has overseen the centre’s development into the very popular and respected education and research centre it is today.

Although it’s closed for the winter season, the EBF was a hub of activity this past year.

This past May the farm opened again to visitors, welcoming them into the brand new visitor centre. The bright red building was constructed last year. It was used for gathering and teaching over the following months, but this May was the first time it opened officially to the public.

The new centre boasts large windows, many displays that have incorporated local refurbished wood and a gift shop. The older building that previously housed the visitor centre is still in use but will be treated as a self-guided facility and for workshops.

Now that the visitors’ centre is finally a reality, EBF organizers plan to enjoy the new facility that has opened up the doors up for more education and research opportunities.

“We have a few more plans for tweaking areas around the site,” said Pearman. “But this (the visitors’ centre) was a big effort, so we are just going to go a little easier for a couple of years.”

This coming year, the bird farm will be welcoming a new tenant to to the surrounding land around the farm, which is a big change for the organization.

The farmer will no longer be growing canola and will be switching over to more sustainable agriculture practices. The surrounding fields will be switched over to pasture and forage for cattle, which will help improve the biodiversity of the farm and surrounding area.

Another change on the way to EBF is the change over of the tea house operator. EBF is currently seeking a new operator.

“It’s a really unique opportunity,” said Pearman. “It’s a very successful operation. We just need a new operator that fits with our ethos and who we are.”

Backyard Bird Feeding: An Alberta Guide is available at all Peavey Mart stores across Alberta. The book is also available online and at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre in Red Deer.

For more information, visit www.ellisbirdfarm.ca or contact info@ellisbirdfarm.ca.

news@lacombeexpress.com

 

Just Posted

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer COVID cases continue to fall

114 cases in Red Deer, down one from Saturday

File Photo
Blackfalds RCMP seeking suspects in traffic collision

RCMP are asking the public for help identifing two suspects wanted for multiple offences

Maskwacis Pride crosswalk (Left to right): Montana First Nation Councillor Reggie Rabbit, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Louise Omeasoo, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Katherine Swampy, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Shannon Buffalo, Samson Cree Nation Chief Vern Saddleback.
Pride in Maskwacis

The 4th inaugural Maskwacis Pride crosswalk painting took place on Saturday 12, 2020.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives at the 2021 budget in Edmonton on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta launches COVID vaccine lottery with million-dollar prizes to encourage uptake

The premier says the lottery will offer three prizes worth $1 million a piece, as well as other prizes

The City of Red Deer sits at 249 active cases of the virus, after hitting a peak of 565 active cases on Feb. 22. (Black Press file image)
Red Deer down to 119 active COVID-19 cases

Province identifies 179 new cases Saturday

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Most Read