Sunday, February 27, 2022

Course Birds

Sandhill Crane
Bent Tree Golf Course, Sarasota, FL
February 25, 2022
Florida's golf course fauna is significantly different from the northeast. In addition to the occasional alligator lurking in the water hazards or crossing the fairway, there are birds. In the northeast the largest birds that must be contended with are usually Canadian Geese. Anyone who has had the opportunity to interact with a Canadian Goose knows that they can be very aggressive--sometimes it is best to let them just have the golf ball. In Florida, we often see Sandhill Cranes which are both larger and louder, but more sedate.

Sandhill Cranes
Rosedale Golf & Country Club
Bradenton, FL
February 24, 2022

Sandhill Cranes are large birds that are definitely not afraid of golfers and they are considered a threatened species by the State of Florida. They sometimes block shots and often get between the golfer and the ball. I have not noticed them to be as aggressive as geese, but they are big enough to definitely defend themselves. 

Sandhill Cranes are loud. They do not honk like geese, but that make a sound that reminds me of what a pterodactyl might sound like had I been around during the Jurassic Period to hear them. Fortunately, I was not as I am sure that I would have quickly become a morsel for either a pterodactyl or dinosaur. 

And all of this from a golf course? Who says golf is not an imaginative game. I have linked 21st Century golf to the Jurassic period in just a few paragraphs.  

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

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