The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC


September 27, 2013

Waterfowl Park opens up a “whole new world” to visitors

SCOTLAND NECK — SCOTLAND NECK – Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park opens up a “whole new world” to visitors. While it is only a 35-minute drive from Tarboro, it might as well be on a different planet, or continent for that matter. The park showcases birds from all over the world, in six continental-themed aviaries as well as other exhibits.

On Saturday, the park is participating in “free museum day” through the Smithsonian Magazine. Visit the website, and print out a ticket. One ticket guarantees free admission for the ticket holder and a guest.

“There’s 2,500 birds to view,” said Brent Lubbock, son of waterfowl park founder Mike Lubbock.

The park, situated on 18 acres of land, is home to more than 170 species. For instance, eight known swan species are in existence on the planet, and the park has all eight species, including the Trumpeter – the world’s largest species of swan.

“That’s what makes us the largest waterfowl facility,” Brent Lubbock said.

The park is designed for open interaction with the birds that freely roam around the aviaries with no barriers separating them from the tourists. One of the exhibits in particular, “The Landing Zone,” offers visitors a chance to hold out sticks of birdfeed on which parakeets land to eat the food. The small, colorful parakeets are known to land and perch on the shoulders of tourists in the exhibit, as well.

After the lively interaction of The Landing Zone, visitors travel through an oasis-like habitat with the sounds of birds chirping, splashing in the water and flapping their wings.

“People like the tranquility of it,” Mike Lubbock said. His son Brent agreed.

“It has that calming agent to it – watching birds.”

The birds blend into a seemingly natural habitat; for instance, scarlet ibis can be seen around a banana tree in the South American aviary. The scarlet ibis gets its coloration from the small crustaceans and other small marine animals that it eats. Other birds inhabiting the South America aviary are the coscoroba swan, known from the sound it makes, and the Macaw parrot.

After watching the waterfowl in the aviaries for a couple of hours, it is easy to see that no two birds are alike. An imposing two-to-three-foot-tall female Eurasian Eagle owl stands on a perch in her cage, surveying her surroundings with a seemingly watchful eye, while whistling ducks swim placidly in the pond in the Eurasia exhibit, and pink Caribbean flamingos in the Landing Zone stand at the ready to stick out their beaks for visitors who want to feed them.

“It brings a sort of an amazement in diversity,” said Brent Lubbock. “It makes one appreciate and hopefully inspires them to learn about the different things in the world and what makes them wonderful.”

The park is also home to about 18 endangered species of birds, including the whooping crane, which is considered “highly endangered.”

“Endangered means there’s only a few hundred left in the wild,” Brent Lubbock said.

In an area across from the whooping crane is the demoiselle crane, one of the highest-flying birds in the world, known to fly over Mt. Everest.

Birds aren’t the only creatures visitors will see at the waterfowl park. One exhibit features a live beehive and poisonous dart frogs. Seeing the beehive illustrates a part of the “cycle of life,” showing the importance of pollinating the plants to help feed the wildlife, Brent Lubbock said. The park also has one of the only handicap-accessible tree houses in the state, where visitors can observe native wildlife such as beavers and deer.

“If you like the outdoors, I think eastern North Carolina is a great place to experience that,” Brent Lubbock said. The park gives people in the area a chance to experience the outdoors, for about the price of a movie ticket -- $5 for children, $7 for seniors and $9 for adults.

Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park is open to walk-in guests from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and closed on Mondays. To schedule a guided tour, call the park at 252-826-3186.

The park is at 1829 Lees Meadow Road in Scotland Neck.


Text Only
  • SWEHS student vies for state ACT honor

    Lecora Lee, a junior at SouthWest Edgecombe High School, is one of 24 students in North Carolina to be chosen to compete for the College and Student Readiness Award.

    April 16, 2014

  • Artwork[1].jpg Abrams’ art to hang in Raleigh

    Kayla Abrams, a 12th-grade student at SouthWest Edgecombe High School, has received the honor of having her artwork permanently displayed at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI) building in Raleigh.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Swanson and parent.jpg Martin Millennium Academy parents, students meet new principal for the first time

    More than 100 parents, students and family members arrived at Martin Middle School’s auditorium on April 8 to attend the first meeting since Erin Swanson was named principal of Martin Millennium Academy (MMA).

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • program at Martin Middle photo.jpg Martin Middle builds ‘Bridge’ to help mentor male students

    Adult role models at C.B. Martin Middle School have begun implementing mentoring opportunities for younger male students at the school.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • ‘Good training’ credited for bringing 2012 suspects to justice

    Two Rocky Mount men were sentenced to at least 17 years in prison by a jury in Edgecombe County Superior Court Thursday for severely beaten and robbing a man in August 2012.

    April 14, 2014

  • Tarboro native added to impressive list

    The Power of the Purse speakers have ranged from Wonder Woman to English Royalty, and Women for Women is thrilled to add Tarboro native Frances Schultz to this impressive list.

    April 11, 2014

  • Walker Award Photo.jpg Dr. Walker earns high honors

    Dr. Thomas L. Walker, senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Rocky Mount, was inducted into the prestigious Board of Preachers at the 29th annual Martin Luther King Jr. College of Ministers and Laity in MLK International Chapel at Morehouse College in Atlanta on April 3.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screenings focus on prevention

    "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

    April 9, 2014

  • historic trades.jpg Historic Preservation Trades School

    Since the early 1900s, scientists have been using growth rings inside tree trunks to determine a tree’s age.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arbor Day.jpg Woman’s Club celebrates Arbor Day

    The Tarboro Woman’s Club celebrated Arbor Day this year by planting, in partnership with the Tarboro Master Gardeners, two Chinese paperbark trees in the Courthouse Square in Tarboro.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Twitter Updates