Sylvan Heights Bird Park
Backstory and Context
Sylvan Heights in Scotland Neck, NC is two different facilities: Sylvan Heights Avian Breeding Center and Sylvan Heights Bird Park. Sylvan Heights Avian Breeding Center was founded by Mike and Ali Lubbock in Sylva, NC in 1981 when they first moved from England. They relocated the facility to Scotland Neck in 1989. An avian biologist, Mike Lubbock is known as “The Waterfowl Man” and has been working in avian conservation since 1964.
The Avian Breeding Center is a facility for keeping, rehabilitating, and breeding rare waterfowl from around the world. The ultimate goal is to save and increase populations of rare species by breeding them in captivity. The Avian Breeding Center has won several awards and is a major part of the recent history of avian conservation.
The Sylvan Heights Bird Park is the public side of Sylvan Heights. It was conceived in 2003 and opened in 2006 in response to increased interest in the Avian Breeding Center and the projects the Center was involved in. The Bird Park is essentially a bird zoo, with birds representing every continent in the world and numerous environments. It is affiliated with the International Wild Waterfowl Association.
It has several child-friendly elements, such as the Landing Zone (in which visitors can feed parakeets) and events like the Halloween Trick or Tweet event. The park also hosts school programs for local children. It is a very popular attraction, with over 40,000 visitors per year.
In addition to worldwide exhibits, the park has a natural history element to it. A section of the park is devoted to the local wetland on which the zoo was built. There is an observation post for watching the wildlife there.