The Ellis Bird Farm’s favourite owls have returned to their nest. The two Great Horned Owls are believed to have been nesting at the site for the last eleven years. The farm sets up a livestream so you can watch as the pair nest, lay eggs, and raise their owlets.
We don’t know for certain that this is the same pair of owls but Amy Jin, Education and Administrative Coordinator at the Ellis Bird says a few eagle-eyed fans claim they have the same characteristics of the owls who have been nesting over the years.
“We think it is [them] just because of their typical pattern when they're nesting, but unless they're banded, which they're not like, we wouldn't know definitely that they are. People who have been watching the channel for years on they've been looking at Ellie and Albert's characteristics and they think it's them,” said Jin.
The camera has been on the nest since January but only recently have the pair confirmed the location with their first egg.
“They've been coming and going. Albert would bring a mouse to the nest and then call her and then sometimes she'll come over and eat the mice and just hang out there. It's just the last few days we've noticed that she is spending her time there during the day too. We've been really paying attention to her. Then just couple days ago, she laid an egg. So, they will be nesting on the nest,” explain Jin.
Jin is hoping to see more eggs come to the nest. Last year, Ellie laid two eggs and Jin says are hoping for the same this year. She estimates that they will begin hatching in early April.
During the farm’s open season you can also view other nests on the site. Jin says every year they try and have a camera on a swallow nest and a blue bird nest. You can view that footage from the Ellis Bird Farm’s visitor centre.
The Ellis Bird Farm is a local bird conservation area located off of Highway 12 on Range Road 260. The farm is beginning to prepare for their open season. This year, the Ellis Bird Farm will be opening on May 22.
Jin says the public can look forward to more gardening activities during the upcoming season.
“We have a community garden that got started last year, but this year we're starting Ellis Bird Farm’ss Learning Garden for all those kids that are coming through our school programs and all the Knee-High Nature Programs,” added Jin.