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

Ringgold Nature Trail

Historic High Country
South Chickamauga Creek
Ringgold, GA 30736
706-935-3061

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River Campground & Lodge

Northeast Georgia Mountains
Hwy. 441/23 and Joy Bridge Rd.
Lakemont, GA 30552
706-782-9936

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Riverbend Park

Presidential Pathways
962 Riverbend Park Rd.
Cusseta, GA 31805
706-989-9911

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Riverside Park

Atlanta Metro
575 Riverside Rd.
Roswell, GA 30075
770-640-3253

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Rock City Gardens

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

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Rock Hawk Effigy and Trails

Historic Heartland
123 Wallace Dam Rd.
Eatonton, GA 31024
706-485-7701

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Rock Springs Park

Atlanta Metro
550 Rock Springs Rd.
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
770-814-6054

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Rocky Ford Park

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

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Rocky Mountain Recreation and Fishing Area

Historic High Country
4054 Big Texas Valley Rd.
Rome, GA 30165
706-802-5087

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Roswell Area Park

Atlanta Metro
10495 Woodstock Rd.
Roswell, GA 30075
770-640-3253

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Roswell Riverwalk

Atlanta Metro
9100 Willeo Rd.
Roswell, GA 30075
770-640-3253

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Roswell Trail System and Riverwalk

Atlanta Metro
617 Atlanta St.
Roswell, GA 30075
770-640-3253

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Rum Creek Wildlife Management Area

Historic Heartland
GA Hwy. 18
Forsyth, GA 31029
478-825-6354

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Salacoa Creek Park

Historic High Country
I-75 Exit 315 Hwy. 156 / 388 Park Dr. NE
Ranger, GA 30734
706-629-3490

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Sandy Bottom Recreation Area

Northeast Georgia Mountains
F.S. Rd. 70
Clayton, GA 30525
706-754-6221

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Sandy Springs

Atlanta Metro
5920 Roswell Rd., Ste. A-118
Sandy Springs, GA 30328
866-511-7742

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Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve

Georgia Coast
PO Box 15
Sapelo Island, GA 31327
912-485-2251

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Sapelo Island Reserve and Reynolds Mansion

Georgia Coast
Rt. 1 Box 1500
Darien, GA 31327
912-437-3224

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Satilla River Water Trail

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

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Sawnee Mountain Preserve

Northeast Georgia Mountains
4075 Spot Rd.
Cumming, GA 30040
770-781-2217

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Screaming Eagle Tree Flight Zip Line Canopy Tour

Historic High Country
205 Horseshoe Dam Rd.
Whitesburg, GA 30185
770-834-9149

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Selden Park

Georgia Coast
Hwy. 341
Brunswick, GA 31523
912-279-2800

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Serenberry Vineyards

Historic High Country
450 Tipton Rd.
Morganton, GA 30560
706-623-8463

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Serenity Park

Magnolia Midlands
Cromartie St.
Hazlehurst, GA 31539
912-437-6684

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Smith-Gilbert Gardens

Atlanta Metro
2382 Pine Mountain Rd.
Kennesaw, GA 30152
770-919-0248

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Smithgall Woods Regional Education Center

Northeast Georgia Mountains
61 Tsalaki Trail
Helen, GA 30545
706-878-3087

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Soque River

Northeast Georgia Mountains
Soque River
Clarkesville, GA 30523
706-778-4654

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Sosebee Cove Scenic Area

Northeast Georgia Mountains
GA Hwy. 180
Blairsville, GA 30512
706-745-6928

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South Rockdale Community Park

Historic Heartland
3909 East Fairview Rd.
Conyers, GA 30094
770-278-7529

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Southern Rivers Birding Trail – Donalsonville

Plantation Trace
Seminole State Park
Donalsonville, GA 31745

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