Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park, Scotland Neck, NC

Hawaiian Goose
But the real reason we came to eastern North Carolina was to visit Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park just outside of Scotland Neck. Here is the largest waterfowl breeding facility in the world and it is open to the public. There are more than 1,500 ducks, geese, cranes, and various other birds, most of whom are endangered or near endangered status.

The park is set up so that you can get close up to most of these birds within their enclosures.  I had a terrific time taking tons of snapshots although I was extremely impressed by the dedicated photographer who came with his DSLR and $10,000 zoom lens (although the question was why did he need such an extreme zoom lens when you could get within inches of the ducks and geese).

Here are some of the birds we saw:

A Muscovy Duck which is native to Nicaragua. Along with the Mallard considered one of the wild ancestors of the domestic duck.

This little Scarlet Ibis strolled down the path in front of us, coming so near that I nearly stepped on it. Since all the chicks are hand raised at the park, they have no fear of the visitors who come through. I did find out that if you get too close to some of the geese and don't have any food for them, you are liable to get a strong nip (looking at you, Hawaiian Goose).

Above is the Great Curassow which is considered threatened in its native South America habitat. Again, since it was hand-raised here at the park, he would follow us around the enclosure and let us get up close as we wanted to without taking off.

More pictures tomorrow!


Anyes said...

This park seemed to have been the perfect playground, giving you much opportunity to capture those beautiful waterfowls in all their splendour. Looking forward to more snapshots :-)

frayedattheedge said...

What stunning photos .... and good that you could get up close to take them. It can be so frustrating when birds fly off just as you get them in focus. Looking forward to seeing more!

Chantal said...

the first photo is gorgeous, the bird has nice texture in how feathers