TRAVEL

Birds, Birds, Everywhere

Are you familiar with the nature show on PBS Kids called Wild Kratts? We are HUGE fans here, and while watching an episode on flamingos this past saturday, we realized that it was filmed at a bird park just hour and a half away from Raleigh, in Scotland Neck, North Carolina.

Sylvan Heights Bird Park is a nonprofit organization that focuses on conservation, research, and education of waterfowls. In the birding community, it’s world famous, especially with its focus on rare and endangered waterfowl. Scotland Neck where the park is located, is a small rural town in Halifax County in Eastern North Carolina.

Asha and Arjun feeding flamingos at The Landing in Sylvan Heights Bird Park

Once our kids were done with the episode, we asked them to put on their shoes so that we could go visit the park ourselves. It was the funniest thing to see them squeal with disbelief. It was very cute! = )

Like many folks, I assume, we had never heard of Scotland Neck. Here is an excerpt from it’s town website: An Outdoor Paradise is a small rural town rich in agricultural heritage and land of unspoiled beauty, with a strong sense of community and southern hospitality. Through hard work and entrepreneurial innovation the community has capitalized on the beauty of its natural resources: farmland, deep woods, wildlife, Roanoke River, country roads, and scenic views … We are known for our wide main street with center parking, beautiful crepe myrtle trees and very friendly people. We are proud of the fact that we do not have a stop light in town and it is because everyone drives with caution and courtesy.

(We passed some beautiful farms, barns, and historic homes on our drive. I plan on another research trip to enjoy some of the other outdoor spots as well as the above mentioned Southern Hospitality).

Asha and Arjun – our navigators for the day!

Our drive was uneventful and easy. The Park was easy to find with plenty of parking. After purchasing our tickets we walked in and were instantly welcomed by the beautiful flock of chatty and pink flamingos! Show stopper and the show hadn’t even begun.

We wore our masks during the entire time at Sylvan Heights Bird Park, and so did 99% of the visitors we came across. The grounds are so beautiful and peaceful, and there was plenty of space for everyone to spread out. There is also a small cafe on site called Duck Landing Cafe which is where we purchased our lunch and ate outside on one of the several picnic benches under big shady trees. There are clearly marked signs asking to keep distance or wait for others to leave an area before you walk up to it. The playgrounds are currently blocked off due to COVID-19.

We had such a fantastic time at the bird park. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to get so close to so many different birds. I could have stared at the finches all day long! Seeing the amazing colors and features of so many birds, it was another reminder of just what an artist Mother Nature is. It was a very rewarding experience even for us adults.

The cherry on top of the whole thing was The Landing where we got really up close and personal with the birds as we feed them food that we had purchased at the gift shop. Only small groups are allowed inside at a time and masks are required. The birds were so friendly. I got to feel the flamingo’s beak as I fed them and they were so gentle! Who would have known!

We left the house around 10:15 am and got back around 6:00 pm. In addition to the drive there and back, we also stopped at Rocky Mount Mills which I didn’t realize is quite a craft-beer lovers paradise (I would highly recommend this to be made part of your day-trip to Sylvan Heights Bird Park too).

A libation at Hopfly Brewery at Rocky Mount Mills

Alright friends, and here is where I unload the rest of my pictures which are nice but still don’t do justice because birds are really hard to capture in a picture. I hope you guys get to venture out here soon (even if you don’t have children, this is a great way to spend the day). Au revoir and happy day-tripping!

Sylvan Heights Bird Park – 500 Sylvan Heights Park Way, Scotland Neck, NC 27874 – Phone: (252) 826-3186 – For park hours and admission fees please click here

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