DO IT: Birding & Wildlife

Take a photo safari of Georgia’s wildlife and birds

Georgia’s thousands of acres of forest land, open fields and coastal marshes mean birds and wildlife are in abundance.

Nearly every part of Georgia except for the downtown areas report seeing deer, one of the most populous animals statewide and the primary game animal. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) establishes hunting seasons and limits for various game animals, including deer, bear, turkey, squirrel, alligator, fox, bobcat, opossum, raccoon, rabbit, quail, grouse, crows, dove, woodcock, snipe, marsh hens, and waterfowl.

Hiking in the Georgia mountains, you may spot black bears, bobcats, foxes, coyotes, raccoons, and possums, among others. Along the coast, add feral pigs and alligators to the list. Take a photo of the elusive critters if you can, but don’t get too close. They are wild animals and can be quite dangerous. Never approach a young animal; it’s mother is likely to be close by and she may attack.

Georgia is heaven for bird watchers, with hundreds of species sighted regularly, both nesting and migrating, so get out the binoculars and start looking. The state has several national wildlife refuges that protect a variety of habitats, from woodlands to wetlands.

Bird Seasons

Additionally, if you’re an avid bird watcher, set out for one of Georgia’s many birding trails listed at left.

Other Georgia locations that offer great birding include Brasstown Bald, the state’s tallest mountain, where you’re likely to see ruffed grouse, common ravens, veery, Canada warblers, and rose-breasted grosbeaks. Burrell’s Ford near Clayton, Georgia is a breeding ground for a small number of red-breasted nuthatches which can be seen year-round.

And in Jonesboro, Georgia, just outside Atlanta, the E.L. Huie Land Application Facility and nearby wetland center is a great place to spot ducks and shorebirds around the ponds, and warblers and sparrows at the wetland center. Augusta’s Phinizy Swamp Nature Park offers fantastic birding year-round, with many guided bird walks offered. Summer birds to look for at Phinizy Swamp include common moorhens, purple gallinules, and least bitterns, while in the fall you may see great egrets and little blue herons.

So, what will you see in Georgia? Here is a list of the 10 most sighted birds in Georgia from the annual Great Backyard Bird Count, but there are hundreds more:

  • Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
  • Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)
  • Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)
  • American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
  • American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)
  • Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
  • Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerine)
  • American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
  • Sandhill Crane (Antigone canadensis)
  • Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)

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Birding & Wildlife - Locations

Mossy Pond Retrievers

Georgia Coast
3099 Mayberry Rd.
Patterson, GA 31557
912-288-1549

[Total: 1    Average: 5/5]
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Rocky Ford Park

Northeast Georgia Mountains
557 Rocky Ford Rd.
Carnesville, GA 30521
706-384-7275

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]
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Tugaloo State Park

Northeast Georgia Mountains
1763 Tugaloo State Park Rd.
Lavonia, GA 30553
706-356-4362

[Total: 1    Average: 5/5]
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Victoria Bryant State Park

Northeast Georgia Mountains
1105 Bryant Park Rd.
Royston, GA 30662
706-245-6270

[Total: 4    Average: 4.5/5]
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Wellston Trail

Historic Heartland
309 Corder Rd.
Warner Robins, GA 31088
478-929-7258

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]
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Legion Park

Magnolia Midlands
816 N. Main St.
Fitzgerald, GA 31750
229-426-5050

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]
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Jefferson Davis Memorial

Magnolia Midlands
338 Jeff Davis Park Rd.
Fitzgerald, GA 31750
299-831-2335

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]
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Chattahoochee Wildlife Management Area

Northeast Georgia Mountains
Off GA Hwy. Alt. 75 and GA Hwy. 75 N.
Helen, GA 30545
706-535-5700

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]
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Dukes Creek Falls and Recreation Area

Northeast Georgia Mountains
GA Hwy. 348
Helen, GA 30545
706-754-6221

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]
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Anna Ruby Falls

Northeast Georgia Mountains
GA Hwy. 356
Helen, GA 30545
706-754-6221

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]
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Towns Bluff RV Park & Heritage Center

Magnolia Midlands
45 Riverwood Trail
Hazlehurst, GA 31539
912-379-9303

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]
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Milton “Buddy” Hopkins Nature Preserve

Magnolia Midlands
Appomattox Rd.
Fitzgerald, GA 31750
229-426-5033

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]
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Ocmulgee River Water Trail

Magnolia Midlands
Mobley Bluff Rd. off Hwy. 107 E.
Fitzgerald, GA 31750
229-426-5033

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]
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Explore Highway 341

Magnolia Midlands
9 East Oak St.
McRae-Helena, GA 31055
229-868-6365

[Total: 1    Average: 4/5]
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Altamaha Waterfowl Management Area

Georgia Coast
U.S. Hwy. 17
Darien, GA 31525
912-262-3173

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]
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Altamaha River Kayak and Canoe Trail – Darien

Georgia Coast
Darien River Landing
Darien, GA 31305
912-437-6684

[Total: 1    Average: 4/5]
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Satilla River Water Trail

Georgia Coast
GA Hwy 121 Landing
Blackshear, GA 31516
912-285-6094

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]
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James Shackelford Memorial Park

Northeast Georgia Mountains
Browns Bridge Rd. and Appalachee Church Rd.
Auburn, GA 30011
770-963-4002

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]
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Alpharetta Arboretum at Cogburn Park

Atlanta Metro
12825 Cogburn Rd.
Alpharetta, GA 30009
678-297-2811

[Total: 1    Average: 5/5]
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Alpharetta Arboretum at Brooke Street Park

Atlanta Metro
2 Park Plaza
Alpharetta, GA 30005
678-297-2811

[Total: 1    Average: 5/5]
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Alpharetta Arboretum at Wills Park

Atlanta Metro
11925 Wills Road
Alpharetta, GA 30009
678-297-2811

[Total: 1    Average: 5/5]
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Sprewell Bluff Wildlife Management Area

Presidential Pathways
740 Sprewell Bluff Rd.
Thomaston, GA 30286
478-825-6354

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]
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Cohutta Wilderness Area

Historic High Country
3941 U.S. Hwy. 76
Chatsworth, GA 30705-6378
706-695-6736

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]
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Fort Mountain State Park

Historic High Country
181 Fort Mountain Park Rd.
Chatsworth, GA 30705
706-422-1932

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]
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Ossabaw Island

Georgia Coast
22814 GA Hwy. 144
Richmond Hill, GA 31324
912-727-2112

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]
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Fort McAllister State Park

Georgia Coast
3894 Fort McAllister Rd.
Richmond Hill, GA 31324
912-727-2339

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]
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Rock City Gardens

Historic High Country
1400 Patten Rd.
Lookout Mountain, GA 30750
706-820-2531

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]
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Upper Lanier Water Trail

Northeast Georgia Mountains
Chattahoochee River Water Trail
Gainesville, GA 30501
770-297-5499

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]
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Elachee Nature Science Center

Northeast Georgia Mountains
2125 Elachee Dr.
Gainesville, GA 30507
770-535-1976

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]
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Lake Tobesofkee Recreation Area

Historic Heartland
6600 Mosely Dixon Rd.
Macon, GA 31220
478-474-8770

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]
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Featured Attractions