I think of myself as a weekend tourist, visiting places in North Carolina with occasional jaunts to Virginia and South Carolina. The object is to not only reward myself for making it through another work week but to find hidden treasures within a four hour drive or so from home. This weekend’s destination was about 2 1/2 hours.
Sylvan Heights Bird Park is located in Scotland Neck, North Carolina. It brings over 2,000 different birds up close and personal. Species include parrots, flamingos, whooping cranes and water fowl. This 18-acre park has several walk through aviaries that feature birds from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and North and South America. (Adjacent to the park is the Avian Breeding Center which isn’t open to the public. Together they form the world’s largest water fowl collection.)
The park also offers an area to dig for fossils, a playground, plenty of picnic tables, short nature trails and a beaver blind. While we didn’t see a beaver while using the blind, we were fortunate enough to see one on the nearest trail.
The parakeet aviary was one of the most popular. Obviously comfortable with people, the parakeets were free to fly around and would eat off of hand-held seed sticks and occasionally land on visitors’ arms/shoulders.
The park is perfect for young and old alike. Nature and photography enthusiasts will appreciate the experience. Pack a lunch. Slow down. Take time to enjoy the wonderful place. There’s a bit of walking so I’d suggest comfortable shoes.
Scotland Neck is pretty remote. It doesn’t have a large variety of restaurants or stores but it does have character. In a way, it’s like time has somehow skipped over it. I loved the parking spaces – located literally between the north and south bound lanes. There’s some interesting architecture. One home in particular made me think of a castle with it’s turret-like roof.
Who knew there would be a world-class facility – open to the public – in Eastern North Carolina? If you haven’t visited, I recommend you make plans to go.
Sylvan Heights Bird Park is located at:
500 Sylvan Heights Park Way, Scotland Neck, North Carolina 27874