"Fowl Weather:" Bird Park Works To Keep Birds Warm

Keeping animals safe while trying to keep them warm can be a challenge in this cold, but try warming up thousands.

That's what the Sylvan Heights Bird Park in Scotland Neck has been faced with these past two nights.

Park executive director Michael Lubbock says, "It took us all day and we brought in probably yesterday, what with the tropical birds and waterfowl, we brought in 200 plus or more."

Lubbock says they have a 50% increase of birds being kept inside as temperatures drop. Some go in on their own, others need to be caught with nets. But thanks to water heated at 56 degrees, the waterfowl can stay outside throughout the night.

Lubbock says, "People say well how can you keep the flamingos out? Well, they just stand in the warm water at night and they're fine, they sort of huddle together.

But for those inside, and even some of the ones outdoors, heat bulbs are the source of warmth.

Lubbock says safety with these bulbs is their top priority. He says, "There's wire between the birds and heat bulb, and we make a casing because of it. We don't give them a straight heat bulb for one thing because they can burn themselves and we'd have singed birds and we don't want that.

Lubbock says the birds will tell them two days before a cold spell comes because they eat a massive amount of food. He says they do it so when the cold weather hits, they have enough energy that they don't need to move around.

The park is actually building a winter shed so that some of the animals they catch can go in and out at will when the temperatures get too cold, rather than having to be caught and put indoors.