All Grown Up: Sylvan Heights Bird Park brings Leonard back to WITN

SCOTLAND NECK, NC (WITN) - Sylvan Heights Bird Park is gearing up for summer activities as the school year wraps up.

A previous guest on WITN News at Sunrise returned Thursday to show off how he's grown!

Leonard first appeared on the show last October, when he was about a month old and could stand in the palm of your hand. Now -- Leonard resembles a turkey and stands several feet off the ground!

Leonard is Crested Screamer with a life expectancy of about 35 years. He imprinted on his handler, Kat Lewandowski, and will be used as an educational bird at Sylvan Heights. He's calm and quiet and makes a soft chirping noise when he's happy.

In nature, Leonard would be able to fly but his wings are clipped while in captivity. Be sure to watch the attached video to learn about Leonard's defensive 'spar' under his wings that he could use to defend himself against predators! .

Sylvan Heights Bird Park is now operating under its summer hours. The park is open from 9am-5pm Tuesday - Sunday.

You can learn more by visiting the park's website.

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Sylvan Heights Bird Park is getting ready for it's annual 'Trick or Tweet' Halloween event for kids and families.

On Thursday, Kat Lewandowski dropped by WITN News at Sunrise with one of the park's newest education birds, a 1-month-old crested screamer.

Crested Screamers are known for the defensive noise they make when they sense danger. Other animals are known to listen for the noise, and so in a way, the birds serve as nature's alarm.

The little bird will stand several feet off the ground when full grown, and its yellow feathers will fade into gray. Crested screamers have a life expectancy of about 35 years.

WITN's Jim Howard commented on just how calm the bird is, and Lewandowski says that's because the animal imprinted onto her shortly after hatching.

"When he hatched out, he was raised by a person rather than another bird and so that makes him really calm and tame around people, and we only do that for birds that are going to be used for education purposes," Lewandowski said.

Sylvan Heights Bird Park is located in Scotland Neck. They're open Tuesdays - Sundays from 9 am to 5 pm.

"Trick or Tweet" will run from 5-6pm on Halloween and staff will be dressed up and pass out candy to kids.