Local News

Duck Breeder's Waterfowl Farm No Longer State Secret

Posted January 21, 2003

— You may have heard of Crocodile Dundee. But do you know Duck Lubbock?

He's in charge of one of the world's largest collections of rare and endangered ducks, geese, cranes and swans, and it's right here in North Carolina.

Cranes hooting loudly can be quite noisy. Despite the noise, Mike "Duck" Lubbock's farm has been a secret in North Carolina.

"There are very few in this country," Lubbock said of his rare waterfowl farm. "In fact, you're looking at the very few right now."

Endangered pink-eared ducks are just part of Lubbock's collection of thousands of web-footed friends.

Pointing to a white-winged wood duck, Lubbock said: "This is probably the most endangered species of waterfowl that we have here.

"It comes from Asam, Sumatra and used to be Vietnam," Lubbock said. "They have probably gone down to probably a hundred in the wild."

Lubbock is perhaps the foremost breeder of waterfowl in the world. More than 160 kinds waddle and roost on his Sylvan Heights farm.

Saving endangered and threatened waterfowl from around the world is his mission, and he's been successful.

Lubbock has had 16 of the world's first rare breeding successes. Even the Queen of England has called on him.

When the Queen's prized geese at Buckingham Palace weren't breeding, Lubbock was summoned to help.

"Luckily for me," he said, "they bred that year. I'm sure I would have landed in the tower if they hadn't."

Lubbock also supplies nearly every zoo in the nation with waterfowl. The North Carolina Zoo recently partnered with him so that everyone can share the secret.

So the rare quacks, squeaks and hoots keep coming.


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