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Native Animals you Can See in Colombia Golf Courses

Iguana at Karibana Golf Club

Updated on 04/29/2024

Dear Readers,
Greetings from Frank, your golf travel operator based in Bogota. We specialize in arranging captivating golf experiences and journeys across the beautiful landscapes of Colombia.

Explore further with a wealth of additional valuable links below, providing insights into various exciting golf topics in Colombia. Enjoy the read and discover the wonders of golf in our vibrant country!

How Much Biodiversity Does Colombia Have?

Colombia ranks as the second most biodiverse country globally, hosting 10% of the world’s flora, 18% of its bird species, and boasting 300 types of ecosystems. The country is divided into six regions: Andean, Caribbean, Amazonian, Insular, Orinoco, and Pacific.

In this blog, we’ll primarily focus on the fauna of four regions where Colombia’s most prominent golf courses are located, offering a glimpse into the rich biological diversity that characterizes the country.

Animals on Golf Courses in the Central Region

The Andean region, known for its excellent golf courses, spans cities like Medellín, Bogotá, and various areas of Cundinamarca’s savannas, including Country Club, Club Los Arrayanes, Club Golf de la Cima, and Club Los Lagartos.

These places allow you to connect with nature and observe diverse animal species in multiple locations, such as:

Pisingo Duck

  • Description: The Pisingo Duck has a coral-red beak, brown plumage, and a long neck that distinguishes it from other similar species. It has a white patch on its wings visible during flight.
  • Diet: Feeds on large amounts of plant material like rice seeds and also searches for invertebrates and small fish in water.
  • Distribution: A migratory species, it can be found in the Andean and Amazonian regions, so you might spot it in these areas if you’re lucky.
  • Habits: Nests in tree cavities, laying an average of 17 eggs. Chicks are capable of swimming and climbing trees shortly after birth.
  • Communication: Emits a sharp, melodious whistle that gives it its name. Communicates with its species through a variety of sounds indicating alarm, courtship, or grouping.

Maromero Hawk

  • Diet: One of the few birds capable of hovering in the air by flapping its wings, enabling it to hunt rodents more easily.
  • Description: The Maromero Hawk has plumage similar to a seagull, gray on the back and white on the belly, with black shoulders and wingtips.
  • Reproduction: Breeds in scattered colonies, building nests of twigs lined with grass and other soft materials. Lays six eggs incubated by the female for 30 days. Chicks are fed by both parents and leave the nest at five to six weeks.
  • Threatened Species: Threatened due to habitat degradation and competition with other birds of prey. Estimated at around 10,000 individuals in Colombia.

Savanna Frog

  • Description: Identifiable by its color-changing ability based on environment and temperature, ranging from green to brown with dark and light spots.
  • Reproduction: Highly reproductive, with females depositing between 300 and 1600 eggs in shallow, calm bodies of water surrounded by grass and bushes.
  • Habits: Nocturnal, adjusting its body temperature during the day and becoming active vocally at night to attract mates and communicate with other species.
  • Habitat: Endemic to Colombia, also found in páramos and savannas of the region. Non-venomous.

White Heron

  • Description: A wading bird species identifiable by its white plumage, yellow beak and legs, long flexible neck.
  • Diet: Primarily feeds on fish, frogs, insects, and other aquatic animals caught with its beak in wetlands and lagoons of the savanna.
  • Habitat: A migratory species from North America arriving in the Bogotá savanna between October and March.
  • Forms nesting colonies with other heron species like the dark heron and the blue heron in trees near bodies of water.
  • Threatened Species: Threatened due to illegal hunting, urban expansion, and habitat pollution.

Yellow-eared Parrot

These places host various parrot species, but one has caught the attention of both environmentalists and tourists visiting the region.

  • Description: Named for the yellow feathers behind its ears, contrasting with its green body and red tail.
  • Diet: Primarily feeds on wax palm seeds.
  • Lifestyle: Monogamous, forming lifelong pairs and reproducing once a year, laying two eggs in tree trunk cavities.
  • Communication: Has a loud voice used to communicate with its species and warn of potential threats or natural disasters. Can also mimic sounds of other birds and animals.

Animals on Golf Courses in the Caribbean Region

The northern Colombian coast stands out for its especially warm climate.

In the region lie important cities like Barranquilla and Cartagena, home to two well-known golf clubs: Club Lagos del Caurajal and Club Karibana. Here, you can play golf while spotting different regional animals like macaws, iguanas, and pelicans.


  • Description: Larger parrots, with a wingspan of up to 60 inches and a length of nearly five feet. Identified by their green, red, or combination plumage, with blue and yellow coloring.
  • Habitat: Inhabit the Colombian Caribbean plain, often preferring coastal habitats like mangroves and tropical forests near the coast.
  • Lifestyle: Known for forming strong monogamous bonds. Macaw pairs often fly and feed together, demonstrating social and affectionate connection.
  • Diet: Left-handed, using their left foot to handle food and objects. Also possess a strong beak for cracking coconut shells and nuts.


  • Description: Common in the Colombian Caribbean region, known for their ability to change color, adopting brighter shades during breeding season.
  • Habitat: Excellent swimmers, often seen swimming in nearby bodies of water such as rivers and lagoons.
  • Lifestyle: During breeding season, male iguanas may exhibit aggressive territorial behaviors to secure a mating area and attract females.
  • Diet: Primarily herbivores, but can also consume insects and small animals to supplement their diet.
  • Temperature Regulation: Cold-blooded, regulating body temperature through sun exposure. Spend long hours sunbathing to increase warmth and energy.


  • Habitat: In coastal areas with lakes or marshy areas, you can observe pelicans flying overhead, large birds with wingspans up to 10 feet and weighing 30 pounds.
  • Communication: Communicate through guttural sounds or gestures with their head and neck.
  • Description: Identifiable by their long, flexible bills, which allow them to catch fish and store them in a pouch under their jaw, capable of holding up to 13 liters of water.
  • Diet: Primarily feed on fish but also consume crustaceans and other aquatic prey. Use cooperative hunting techniques, such as forming groups to surround and concentrate fish.
  • Lifestyle: During breeding season, they nest in colonies on islands or protected coastal areas. Also build nests on the ground or in elevated structures.

Animals on Golf Courses in the Coffee Axis Region

The Coffee Axis region is essential, with two very popular golf clubs: the Club Campestre de Armenia and the Club Campestre de Manizales.

This area is known for its mountainous terrain, influenced by the Central Andes mountain range, and is located at a considerable altitude above sea level between 1,000 and 2,000 meters.

You’ll find similar fauna in both clubs due to shared geographical characteristics, allowing you to spot animals like the Andean condor, the celestial toucan, hummingbirds, the spectacled bear, and the tapir.

Andean Condor

  • Description: The Andean condor is the world’s largest flying bird, with a wingspan of up to 10 feet and a weight of up to 33 pounds. Its beak is white, legs gray, and plumage entirely black.
  • National Symbol: Colombia’s national symbol, it can live up to 70 years in captivity or longer.
  • Skill: Possesses the ability to soar long distances without frequently flapping its wings, utilizing updrafts in mountainous areas.
  • Food: Feeds on carrion, meaning dead animals it finds during its travels, and can fly up to 125 miles a day in search of food.
  • Habitat: If you’re lucky, you may see them soaring near protected natural areas like the Tatamá National Natural Park and Los Nevados National Natural Park, mountainous areas.

Celestial Toucan

  • Habitat: The celestial toucan is a bird species belonging to the toucan family that inhabits Andean forests.
  • Description: Easily identifiable by its plumage, ranging from black to bluish-green, with a white spot on the throat and chest.
  • Diet: The celestial toucan has the longest and widest bill of all toucans, measuring 8 inches. It has a curved bill used to reach fruits, seeds, insects, and small vertebrates as part of its diet.
  • Lifestyle: Form stable pairs. The female lays between 2 and 4 eggs in a tree cavity, which are incubated by both parents for 18 days. After 45 days of being born, chicks can usually fly.


  • Hummingbird Diversity: The Coffee Axis is home to a wide variety of hummingbirds, with over 100 species recorded, accounting for 40% of the world’s hummingbird species. They range in size from 2 to 8 inches, displaying shades of greenish-blue, purple, blue, and brown.
  • Description: The only bird capable of flying backward, sideways, and even upside down. It can also beat its wings up to 200 times per second, allowing it to stay in the air like a helicopter.
  • Diet: Has a very high metabolism and needs to constantly feed to maintain its energy. Can consume up to twice its weight in nectar per day, visiting about 2000 different flowers.
  • Ecosystem Balance: An important pollinator, transporting pollen from flowers on its beak and plumage, contributing to plant reproduction and ecosystem conservation.
  • Territorial Defense: A highly territorial bird, defending its food source from other individuals or its own species. Can engage in aerial battles with rivals, using its beak as a weapon.


  • Pecking: When it pecks wood with its beak, it does so between 15 and 16 times per second, twice as fast as a machine gun.
  • Description: The plumage of most species is predominantly bright green, purple, and orange, although many woodpeckers show some yellow and pink. They measure over 20 inches long.
  • Lifestyle: Woodpeckers store a supply of acorns, creating holes in trees where they live and store an acorn in each hole, creating thousands of holes in tree trunks.
  • Speed: Their heads move faster than a bullet, and the impact force of their head on each peck is 1000 times the force of gravity.
  • Diet: To fuel all their energy expenditure in just one day, a woodpecker feeds on 1,000 ants or 900 beetle larvae.

Animals on Golf Courses in the Pacific Region

The Pacific Region comprises the entire Colombian Pacific coast. In this area, you’ll find various golf clubs, in particular.

Cali is home to two of the country’s most prominent clubs you should visit: the Club Campestre de Cali and the Club Farallones de Cali.

These clubs are not only known for their golf excellence but also feature areas dedicated to wildlife protection. Here, you can spot animals like the red squirrel, white-collared swift, Colombian weasel, anteater, and crab-eating fox.

Red Squirrel

  • Description: The squirrel is a rodent species measuring up to 8 inches. Easily identifiable by its reddish or brown fur and long, bushy tail.
  • Pest Species: Considered an agricultural pest, causing damage to crops like corn, sugarcane, bananas, and citrus. Can also affect electrical networks, wooden structures, or human dwellings.
  • Diet: Adapted well to the climate and vegetation of the Cauca Valley, where it feeds on fruits like guava, mango, avocado, and coffee, as well as bird chicks and eggs.
  • Disease Carrier: This squirrel can transmit diseases like rabies and bubonic plague. Also carriers of parasites like ticks, fleas, and mites.

White-collared Swift

  • Skill: The white-collared swift is a bird species easily observed in the sky thanks to its acrobatic flight.
  • Habitat: They inhabit green areas preserving green fragments of dry tropical forest, shrublands, wetlands, or near the Cauca River, where they feed, breed, and rest.
  • Description: Identifiable by its black plumage with a white band on the neck and a white spot on the belly, with a short beak. This bird measures 9 inches long and weighs 90 to 125 grams.
  • Diet: Primarily feeds on flying insects, catching them in the air with its mouth. Can also consume nectar and pollen from some flowers.
  • Lifestyle: Build nests with branches, feathers, and saliva in rock crevices or trees.

Colombian Weasel

  • Description: Colombia’s smallest carnivore, with a body about 9 inches long and an 11-inch tail, weighing between 120 and 150 grams.
  • Diet: Has webbed feet that allow it to swim and hunt aquatic animals like fish, crustaceans, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and rodents.
  • Camouflage: Its fur is black-brown on the back and orange-beige on the belly, helping it blend into its habitat near streams, rivers, and humid forests.
  • Previously Thought Extinct: Once thought extinct until 2019 when it was seen again in different parts of the Valle del Cauca region.
  • Habitat: Inhabits much of the Colombian Pacific, from Antioquia to northern Nariño, in warm humid forests and dry tropical forests.


  • Habitat: The anteater is a mammal that inhabits forested areas and the surroundings of the Farallones de Cali.
  • Food: Feeds on ants and termites, using its sticky tongue that can reach up to 24 inches in length to extract insects from nests. Can consume over 30,000 ants and termites per day.
  • Description: Has thick, long fur to protect against cold and sun. Also has an excellent sense of smell but very poor eyesight.
  • Skill: Despite its clumsy appearance, it’s quite agile and can climb trees easily. Also known for its endurance, able to travel long distances in search of food.
  • Has long, strong claws ideal for opening insect nests. Although lacking teeth, its jaws are strong enough to crush insects.

Crab-eating Fox

  • Food: The crab-eating fox is omnivorous and adapts to different habitats and food sources, from rodents and crabs to fruits and grass.
  • Description: Has dark gray fur with a black stripe on the back, legs, tail, and a white belly with yellow. Its snout is short, and it has round ears. It measures between 25 and 28 inches long and weighs 6 kilograms.
  • Ecological Balance: Key to ecological balance, as it controls populations of rodents and other animals considered pests, and disperses seeds from the plants it consumes, favoring forest regeneration.
  • Accidents: One of the wildlife species most affected by roadkill in the Cauca Valley, as it travels long distances along roads and doesn’t recognize speed limits.

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About Author



Hello! I'm Frank Spitzer, the founder and the heart behind Pelecanus, a specialized tour operator for Colombia travel. My journey in travel is vast and rich – I've explored over 60 countries, absorbing cultures, experiences, and stories along the way. Since 2017, I've been channeling this wealth of global experience into creating unforgettable travel experiences in Colombia. I'm recognized as a leading authority in Colombian tourism, with a deep-seated passion for sharing this beautiful country with the world. You can catch glimpses of my travel adventures and insights around Colombia on my YouTube channel. I'm also active on social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, where I share the vibrant culture and stunning landscapes of Colombia. For professional networking, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. Join me on this incredible journey, and let's explore the wonders of Colombia together!

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