A round of golf on the Bangor Municipal Golf Course can quickly become a visit to one of the many creatures that have made their home journey in recent years.
The golf course has recently created "non-play areas" that serve as habitat for wildlife, according to Rob Jarvis, PGA Chief Professional at Bangor Municipality. By letting the grass grow wild in some areas, the animals were able to create habitat by protecting tall grasses and surrounding trees.
The non-play areas – approximately 6 to 7 acres – are the result of the recertification of the golf course in 2016 as the Audubon International Golf Sanctuary.
Since then, Bangor Municipal has seen a host of different animals settle on the 27-hole course or simply get through, including coyotes, deer, fishermen, turkeys, ducks and foxes red, said Jarvis.
With the kind permission of the Bangor Municipal Golf Course
One of these visitors is the Peregrine Falcon, an endangered species in Maine. And just last week, Jarvis said, two bald eagles perched on a tree near the snow-capped greens.
Last year, two fishermen were seen building their den on the golf course, according to Jarvis.
Jarvis said the local wildlife gave golfers a chance to see animals they had never seen in their natural habitats.
For the most part, animals pose no threat to golfers, with the exception of occasional nuisances.
"The fox has been known to steal golf balls," Jarvis said.
This course is an Audubon International certified golf sanctuary since 2013 and is in place for its second recertification this year. Golf courses must be recertified every three years to maintain their sanctuary status.
There are 797 Audubon International golf sanctuaries in the world, including 666 in the United States.
In Maine, four courses, including Bangor Municipal, have been granted sanctuary status.