Sylvan Heights Bird Park seeks to advance conservation of waterfowl and wetlands, to act as a local educational resource for avian biology and wetlands ecology, and to serve as an international center for avicultural training and research.
In 1981, founders Mike and Ali Lubbock moved to the United States from England, bringing extensive waterfowl knowledge with them. They founded Sylvan Heights Waterfowl in the mountain town of Sylva, North Carolina, and began breeding rare waterfowl from around the world.
The Sylvan Heights Avian Breeding Center
In 1989, the Lubbocks moved the entire collection to Scotland Neck, North Carolina, in the northeast corner of the state. Sylvan Heights Waterfowl II, now called the Sylvan Heights Avian Breeding Center, was established, and has continued to grow into the largest collection of exotic and rare waterfowl in the world. The facility now houses more than 3,000 birds representing 140 species, and plays a key role in maintaining the captive populations of several endangered waterfowl species. Due to the fragile nature of the work conducted here, the Sylvan Heights Avian Breeding Center is not open to the public.
Sylvan Heights Bird Park
As the collection at the Avian Breeding Center continued to grow, so did interest from conservation organizations, educational facilities, and the local public. In 2003, under the guidance of the North Carolina Zoological Society, the Lubbocks began planning a bird park that would allow the public to enjoy and learn about birds and waterfowl from around the world, without disturbing the important nesting birds at the Avian Breeding Center. Sylvan Heights Bird Park opened in 2006, and now receives more than 55,000 visitors each year, including thousands of PreK-12th grade students from local schools. Aspiring biologists, conservationists, and zoo professionals from around the world also travel to Sylvan Heights Bird Park and the Avian Breeding Center to gain valuable experiential training.
“The future of conservation rests in the hands of the young people we teach.”