CO-Horts Blog

Friday, August 1, 2014

Golf Course Wildlife

Tony Koski, Extension Turf Specialist

Those unfamiliar with golf courses (only a little over 9% of the U.S. population plays golf) often think of them as wildlife-unfriendly, chemical-laced, overwatered lawns. Nothing could be further from the truth. While some courses are more attractive to wildlife than others, every golf course can be a haven for birds, mammals, native pollinators, amphibians, reptiles and all other sorts of wildlife. The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf program teaches member golf courses how to become more wildlife-friendly. You might be interested to know that 42 of Colorado's approximately 250 golf courses are Audubon Sanctuary courses.

Sandhill cranes at Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes Club.
This last week Alison and I attended the American Society for Horticultural Sciences meeting in Orlando, where we were able to take a few "field trips" to area golf courses. While playing the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes Club (an Audubon Sanctuary course), we watched a flock of sandhill cranes feeding and playing in a sand bunker on the 18th hole following a thunderstorm. It's not easy to get so close to these beautiful birds.

Anhinga (water-turkey) at the Waldorf-Astoria Golf Club

 While playing the Waldorf-Astoria Golf Club, we found a very tame anhinga (commonly called the "water-turkey") sunning itself on a golf cart bridge. And I found this rather large snail alongside one of the tees.

Croquet ball-sized snail!
And while we never saw any alligators at any of the golf courses, we found this guy outside of our hotel, just across the street from the Orlando Convention center.

No comments:

Post a Comment