Sylvan Heights Bird Park

Sylvan Heights Bird Park is sisters with Sylvan Heights Avian Breeding Center. The two organizations are dedicated to waterfowl species and their survival. They were founded by Mike and Ali Lubbock. Mike is credited with preserving some species that may have been extinct today. His ornithology career started at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in England. He moved to America permanently in 1981. Sylvan Heights Waterfowl was founded in 1985. Its purpose is to preserve the beauty of breeding birds.
The park is located at 500 Sylvan Heights Park Way, in Scotland Neck. It is in North Carolina and can be accessed from both US-64 and I-95.

Sylvan Heights Avian Breeding Center

The breeding center was founded in 1989. There are more than 170 bird species at Sylvan Heights Avian Breeding Center. Some of the birds are;
· Ducks
· Geese
· Swans
· Cranes
· Parrots
More than 1000 hatchlings are reared at the center annually. The center has more than 2500 birds.
The center trains avian biologists who are interested in conservation issues. It is an aviculture training site for wildlife professionals. People come in from all over the United States. They are taught advanced techniques in various programs at the center.
The breeding center is not open to the public. The work done there is fragile and requires adequate care. There are opportunities to receive guided tours of the center. One such is the annual Duckling Day celebration. Invitations are sent to members for a tour of the Avian Breeding Center.

Survival Breeding Programs

The Sylvan Heights Avian Breeding Center has various breeding programs. These are dedicated to species facing extinction. Some species have only been able to exist because of these programs. They include;
This is also known as the Madagascar Teal. The bird is in Western Madagascar. It is categorized as endangered because of habitat loss and hunting. The estimated total of existing Bernier’s Teals in the wild is 1500 to 2500 birds.
There is an international network working to preserve the species. They maintain a healthy number of the species at facilities like Sylvan Heights.
2. Baer’s Pochard
The Baer’s Pochard is in Eastern Asia. The species is critically endangered due to hunting and habitat loss. The population in the wild is unknown. It is estimated at less than 1,000 birds.
In 2007, three pairs of Baer’s Pochard birds were imported from Europe. In 2010, more came from Louisiana’s Pinola Preserve. There are more than 100 birds of Bear Pochard species.
These are found in Southeast Asia and are categorized as endangered. Their numbers in the wild are between 350 and 1500 individual birds. They face threats from the destruction of forest and wetland habitats. These are destroyed for agriculture.
Sylvan Heights Waterfowl has a large population of the species in captivity. skilled aviculturists and zoos. This is to reduce risk of limited genetic diversity and allow for an increase in their numbers.
4. Chinese Merganser
Also known as the Scaly-sided Merganser. This species is found in China and southeastern Russia. It is endangered because of poaching and river pollution. Their total number in the wild is less than 2500 individual birds.
The species is recognized by few facilities in North America and Europe. Sylvan Heights works to boost their numbers by breeding in captivity. There have been successful breedings. Offspring are sent to zoological institutions for exhibition, breeding, and public education.
5. Red-breasted Goose
Threats to this species include pesticides, hunting, and loss of breeding habitat. They are found in the Russian arctic and in the winters of southwestern Europe and Asia. They are vulnerable to extinction as their population varies greatly.
6. White-headed Duck
This is found in Southwestern Europe, Russia, and Asia. It is endangered because of drought. There is also an issue with hybridization. This is with the introduced Ruddy Duck from North America.
In the wild, their numbers are between 8,000 and 13,000 birds.
The population at Sylvan Heights reproduces annually. This has boosted the numbers.

Birds and Exhibits

Sylvan Heights Bird Park allows visitors an experience that is unforgettable and up-close. The facility has been open since October 2006. It sits on 18 acres of land. The park features endangered birds from;
· South America
· North America
· Africa
· Asia
· Australia
There are gorgeous gardens around the aviaries. The surrounding is green and lush to give the birds a habitat just like in the wild. The park has a natural beauty that has attracted many to North Carolina.

Guided Tours

The guided tours offer an in-depth experience of the park. The tours have additional information from the park’s knowledgeable staff. Visitors learn about the birds at the park, exhibits, and the park’s history. People who may have trouble navigating the park can go around in guided golf carts.
A group of 5 people is charged $50. For groups larger than 5, an additional $10 is charged.
All guided tours require reservations made in advance.


You can become a member of the Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Society. Members gain free entrance to Sylvan Heights Bird Park. Membership to the Society allows discounted admission to other North Carolina attractions. You also get a subscription to the center’s magazine; Words on Waterfowl and discounts at the gift shop.
Being a member of the society allows you to provide support to the center. This support goes a long way in helping preserve the work done by the facility.

Skylight Inn Barbecue Online Store

The restaurant produces great branded merchandise. There is a variety of clothing and decorative items available for purchase. The available items are:

1. T-shirts

The t-shirts are $20 each.

There are different t-shirts to choose from. These include;

· Skylight Inn “Choppin” Tee

· Whole Hog Tee

· Skylight Inn “Patch” Tee

· Skylight Inn Good Butt Tee

2. Hats

Hats go for $20 each.

The hats are of two colors, Grey and Green. The grey hat has a brown patch with the Skylight Inn Barbecue logo. The green hat has a tan logo.

3. Barbecue Sauce

This is the original barbecue sauce. The recipe has been used since the restaurant began operating. It is vinegar-based. The sauce can be used on both pork and chicken. It is 17.25 ounces. It costs $7.

The items bought from the online store can be returned only if;

· It is unused or in new condition.

· It is not damaged.

· The item was bought within 30 days of it being returned.

You can pack up the item and ship it back to the warehouse. The address to the warehouse can be found on the restaurant’s website. You will need to wait for five to seven business days to receive a refund on returned items.

The only items that cannot be returned are those on sale.

The restaurant is open every week from Monday to Saturday. Operation hours are between 10 am to 7 pm. The restaurant remains closed every Sunday. Skylight Inn Barbecue is known for its whole hog barbecue. The pig is cooked in a traditional North Carolinian fashion. This attracts many, some who know of the recipe and others who wish to experience it. Next time you are in Arden, or the larger North Carolina area, pass by the restaurant. You are sure to leave amazed at the food served. You can get a barbecue sandwich, a plate, or pick it by the pound.

The Waterfowl Man

Mike Lubbock is known as the Waterfowl Man. Many avian biologists consider him a prolific and intuitive waterfowl aviculturist. He faced many adventures and obstacles in his journey to protect endangered waterfowl. He has dedicated his life to ensuring many bird species do not go extinct. Sylvan Heights Bird Park is his life’s work. The park seeks to inform and educate people about waterfowl. It gives a desire to continue the work they do. The park is important in waterfowl preservation efforts. Many institutions have partnered with the park to continue in their work