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

Bartow Gatewood Park

Historic High Country
224 Bartow Beach Rd.
Cartersville, GA 30120
770-387-5163

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Bartram Forest

Historic Heartland
2892 U.S. Hwy. 441 S.
Milledgeville, GA 31061
478-445-5164

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Bear Hollow Wildlife Trail and Memorial Park

Historic Heartland
293 Gran Ellen Dr.
Athens, GA 30606
706-613-3616

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Benton Mackaye Trail Association

Historic High Country
344 Hwy. 515
Blue Ridge, GA 30540
706-636-3499

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Big Creek Greenway – Alpharetta

Atlanta Metro
Various trailheads through Alpharetta
Alpharetta, GA 30009
678-297-2811

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Big Creek Park

Atlanta Metro
1600 Old Alabama Rd.
Roswell, GA 30075
770-640-3253

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Big Hart Campground – Clarks Hill Lake

Classic South
5258 Washington Rd.
Thomson, GA 30824
877-444-6777

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Big Lazar Wildlife Management Area and Public Fishing Area

Presidential Pathways
Bunkham Rd. 4 miles east of Talbotton on U.S. Hwy. 80
Talbotton, GA 31827
706-845-4180

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Billy Cullens Memorial Nature Trail and Observation Towers

Georgia Coast
U.S. Hwy. 17, South Butler Island
Darien, GA 31305
912-262-3173

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Birdsong Nature Center

Plantation Trace
2106 Meridian Rd.
Thomasville, GA 31792
229-377-4408

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Blackbeard Island National Wildlife Refuge

Georgia Coast

Blackbeard Island, GA 31327
912-652-4415

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Blanton Creek Wildlife Management Area

Presidential Pathways
GA Hwy. 103 S.
Hamilton, GA 30286
478-825-6354

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Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

Historic High Country
241 Depot St.
Blue Ridge, GA 30513
877-413-8724

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Blue Ridge Wildlife Management Area

Northeast Georgia Mountains
GA Hwy. 52 W. or GA Hwy. 60 N.
Dahlonega, GA 30533
770-535-5700

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Blue Ridge, Georgia

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

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Blythe Island Regional Park

Georgia Coast
6616 Blythe Island Hwy.
Brunswick, GA 31523
912-279-2812

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Bobby Brown Park

Northeast Georgia Mountains
2509 Bobby Brown State Park Rd.
Elberton, GA 30635
706-283-5500

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Bogan Park

Atlanta Metro
2723 N. Bogan Rd.
Buford, GA 30519
770-814-6054

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Boggs Creek Day Use Area

Northeast Georgia Mountains
U.S. Hwy. 129 N.
Cleveland, GA 30528
706-745-6928

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Boling Park

Historic High Country
1200 Marietta Hwy.
Canton, GA 30114
770-720-7674

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Boundary Waters Park and Sports Complex

Atlanta Metro
Hwy. 92
Douglasville, GA 30134
770-489-2175

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Broad River Natural Area

Northeast Georgia Mountains
Off GA Hwy. 79 W.
Elberton, GA 30635
770-535-5700

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Buford Dam Park

Northeast Georgia Mountains
1200 Saddle Dike #3
Buford, GA 30518
770-945-9531

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Bull River Cruises Eco-Tours

Georgia Coast
Hogan's Marina, 36 Wilmington Island Rd.
Savannah, GA 31410
912-898-1800

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Bullard Creek WMA – Towns Bluff Tract

Magnolia Midlands
Bell Telephone Rd.
Hazlehurst, GA 31539
229-426-5267

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Burton Mill Park

Northeast Georgia Mountains
6555 Yacht Club Rd.
Flowery Branch, GA 30542
770-945-9531

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Butler Island Rice Plantation

Georgia Coast
U.S. Hwy. 17, Scenic Coastal Highway
Darien, GA 31305
912-437-4837

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Callaway Gardens

Presidential Pathways
17800 Hwy. 27
Pine Mountain, GA 31822
706-663-2281

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Captain Gabby Charters

Georgia Coast
Waterfront Park Dock, Screven St. and Waterfront
Darien, GA 31350
912-270-7053

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Carrollton Greenbelt

Historic High Country
480 Hays Mill Rd.
Carrollton, GA 30117
770-834-8522

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