It’s the time of year again to delve into all things ‘bugs’ during Ellis Bird Farm’s annual Bug Jamboree, coming up on Aug. 12.
The event runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We want to expose visitors to the wide variety of bugs, and not just because they are cool to look at, but also to (talk) about the importance of them to other species and to us,” said Carolyn Ross, site manager and biologist at the Farm.
Some bugs also have a nagging stigma about them – and that’s something else organizers behind the Jamboree hope to address as well through a variety of talks, demos and activities, she added.
Highlights of the day include Going on a Bug Hunt with Ilan Domnich, EBF Butterfly Citizen Science with Dr. Delano, Learning to Love (at least) Some Bugs with John Acorn at the Visitors’ Centre, and the Ben Acorn Butterfly Walk.
Wrapping up the day is Charity Briere’s Native Pollinator Walk and Talk, and Ilan Domnich’s session on Cool Alberta Bugs from 4 to 4:30 p.m.
There will also be lots of presenters’ tables and information booths running the gamut from Ken Fry’s Farm and Homestead Insects; Charley Bird’s Alberta Fungi, Dave Lawrie’s Alberta Lepidopterist Guild’s Travelling Collection (loads of moths and butterflies to explore) to Alberta Environment’s Learn All About Aquatic Invasive Species.
Ross said many of those presenting or setting up tables and booths are popular repeat guests who have attended the Jamboree several times in the past.
“There’s a core group that has been coming out here for many years,” she said.
Meanwhile, this upcoming Jamboree marks Ross’s second as Ellis Bird Farm’s manager, and she can’t wait to host the popular event again – adding that last year’s proved to be a hit with visitors.
“There are always a few of those kids who are so enthused – they are wandering around with their big nets trying to catch butterflies. So it’s just about seeing the fun that they are having at the Jamboree.”
Other things to check out during the Jamboree include butterfly counts, Ellis Bird Farm’s pond dipping at the Wetland Centre and face painting and crafts on the Circle Deck.
Admission is $15 per family or $5 per person.
It’s been a busy summer at the Farm with the recent and successful Bat ‘n Beers Night’ last month which about 75 people signed up for, noted Ross.
And looking ahead, other highlights include the ‘Dark Sky’ presentation set for Aug. 20 (this is a look at the importance of dark skies and the dangers of light pollution to migratory birds and other wildlife); Expert Birder Gavin’s Warbler Walk to check out late season birds on Aug. 27, and a special event slated for Alberta Culture Days (Sept. 9-10). The event will focus on Indigenous connections to nature with lots of special events and highlights to enrich visitors’ cultural and educational experiences.
In the meantime, Ross is really enjoying her post with the Farm.
“It’s a wonderful job. I really enjoy getting people out in nature and making those little connections. Whether they become a biologist, or they just learn to enjoy spending more time outside, (these are) great activities for any age.”
For more, head to www.ellisbirdfarm.ca or find them on Facebook.