Avian Husbandry Program

Avian Husbandry Program

The Sylvan Heights Avian Husbandry & Management Program is designed for zoo and wildlife management professionals (or equivalent experience) who desire to increase their knowledge and proficiency in aviculture. The program is conducted at Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Center in Scotland Neck, North Carolina, and was designed by the Center’s Director, Mike Lubbock, incorporating his innovative and highly successful techniques in avian breeding and care.

Hands-on avicultural training

The program is primarily for individuals who are already experienced in working with captive wildlife in general or birds specifically. It is designed to provide a broad range of instruction in waterfowl aviculture, as well as specific techniques that may or may not be used at other institutions, such as zoos.

Application & Information


Apply for a spot in this year’s program! Be sure to read the information guide before completing your application.


View full program information, program requirements, learning objectives, mentor profiles, and tuition fees.


The International Wild Waterfowl Association’s Lis Glassco Hudson internship grant may be available to qualifying individuals. 

Topics Covered

Although Anseriformes are a specialty, other birds such as cranes, parrots, and pheasants also reside at the Center and may be included in the curriculum when requested in advance by the applicant or institution.  Participants are given intensive, hands-on training in captive breeding and management of Anseriformes, including:

Avicultural Management
Aviary Design & Requirements
Nesting Habitat
Egg Handling
Incubation Techniques
Rearing Techniques
Veterinary Care & Bio-Security
Nutritional Requirements
Bird Identification / Behavior / Conservation

Program Schedule

Avian Husbandry Program sessions typically take place between April and August when waterfowl breeding is at the highest level. Most sessions are two weeks long, although we do offer a condensed one-week session for individuals who aren’t able to attend for two weeks. Space in each session is limited.

For more information about session dates and availability, please contact ali@shwpark.com.