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

Chattahoochee Bend State Park

Presidential Pathways
425 Bobwhite Way
Newnan, GA 30263
770-254-7271

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Okefenokee Adventures

Georgia Coast
4159 Suwannee Canal Rd.
Folkston, GA 31537
912-496-7156

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Smithgall Woods State Park

Northeast Georgia Mountains
601 Tsalaki Tr.
Helen, GA 30545
706-878-3087

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Brasstown Bald

Northeast Georgia Mountains
GA Hwy. Spur 180
Blairsville, GA 30512
706-896-2556

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Lamar Moody Park

Historic High Country
2377 Lake Paradise Rd.
Villa Rica, GA 30180
770-459-7011

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Laura S. Walker State Park

Georgia Coast
5653 Laura Walker Rd.
Waycross, GA 31503
912-287-4900

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New Echota Cherokee Capital State Historic Site

Historic High Country
1211 Chatsworth Hwy. NE
Calhoun, GA 30701
706-624-1321

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A Big Wheel RV Park

Georgia Coast
6031 Charlie Smith Sr. Hwy.
St. Marys, GA 31558
912-576-5386

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A.H. Stephens State Park

Classic South
456 Alexander St. NW
Crawfordville, GA 30631-2903
706-456-2602

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Abernathy Park

Atlanta Metro
254 Johnson Ferry Rd.
Sandy Springs, GA 30328
404-303-6172

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Allatoona Lake and Visitors Center

Historic High Country
1138 GA Hwy. 20 Spur
Cartersville, GA 30121
678-721-6700

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Alpha Loop Trail

Atlanta Metro
Downtown to Avalon
Alpharetta, GA 30009
678-297-2811

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Alpharetta Arboretum at Brooke Street Park

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

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Alpharetta Arboretum at Cogburn Park

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

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Alpharetta Arboretum at Webb Bridge Park

Atlanta Metro
4780 Webb Bridge Rd.
Alpharetta, GA 30005
678-297-2811

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Alpharetta Arboretum at Wills Park

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

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Altamaha River Kayak and Canoe Trail – Darien

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

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Altamaha Waterfowl Management Area

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

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Amerson Water Works Park of Macon

Historic Heartland
2600 Riverview Road
Macon, GA 31204
478-722-9909

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Andrews Cove Recreation Area

Northeast Georgia Mountains
GA Hwy. 75 N.
Helen, GA 30545
706-754-6221

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Anna Ruby Falls

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

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Arabia Mountain Heritage Area & Davidson- Arabia Nature Preserve

Atlanta Metro
3787 Klondike Rd.
Lithonia, GA 30038
770-484-3060

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Arabia Mountain Trail

Atlanta Metro
I-20 to Evans Mill Rd.
Lithonia, GA 30038
404-875-7284

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Arrowhead Environmental Education Center

Historic High Country
2592 Floyd Springs Rd.
Armuchee, GA 30105
706-295-6073

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Aska Trails

Historic High Country
152 Orvin Lance Dr.
Blue Ridge, GA 30513
706-632-5680

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Augusta Canal Headgates

Classic South
3300 Evans To Locks Rd.
Martinez, GA 30907
706-868-3349

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Augusta Canal National Heritage Area

Classic South
1450 Greene St.
Augusta, GA 30901-5237
706-823-0440

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Autrey Mill Nature Preserve Heritage Center

Atlanta Metro
9770 Autrey Mill Rd.
Johns Creek, GA 30022
678-366-3511

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Azalea Park

Atlanta Metro
203 Azalea Dr.
Roswell, GA 30075
770-640-3253

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Bartow Carver Park

Atlanta Metro
3900 Bartow Carver Road SE
Acworth, GA 30101
770-974-6053

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Featured Attractions