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

Cathead Creek Ranch & RV Park

Georgia Coast
1288 Cox Rd. SW
Townsend, GA 31331
912-437-2441

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Cay Creek Wetlands Interpretive Center

Georgia Coast
189 Charlie Butler Rd.
Midway, GA 31320
912-368-3580

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Cedar Creek Reservoir

Northeast Georgia Mountains
5565 Timber Ridge Rd.
Gillsville, GA 30543
770-535-8280

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Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center

Historic Heartland
543 Elliott Trl.
Mansfield, GA 30252
770-784-3059

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Chattahoochee Greenway Trail

Presidential Pathways
Chattahoochee Riverside
Franklin, GA 30217
706-675-3778

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Chattahoochee Nature Center

Atlanta Metro
9135 Willeo Rd.
Roswell, GA 30075
770-992-2055

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Chattahoochee Old Town aka Brush Creek Park

Presidential Pathways
1328 Brush Creek Park Rd.
Franklin, GA 30217
706-594-4921

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Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area

Atlanta Metro
1978 Island Ford Pkwy.
Atlanta, GA 30350
678-538-1200

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Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area – Vickery Creek Unit

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

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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

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Cherokee Bluffs Park

Northeast Georgia Mountains
5867 Blackjack Rd.
Flowery Branch, GA 30542
770-535-8280

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Chestatee Wildlife Management Area

Northeast Georgia Mountains
Off U.S. Hwy. 19
Cleveland, GA 30528
770-535-5700

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Chickamauga National Military Park – Catoosa Co

Historic High Country
3370 LaFayette Rd.
Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742
706-866-9241

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Chickamauga National Military Park – Walker Co

Historic High Country
3370 LaFayette Rd.
Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742
706-866-9241

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City of Hazlehurst

Magnolia Midlands
25 E. Coffee St.
Hazlehurst, GA 31539
912-209-8805

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Clarks Hill Lake/J. Strom Thurmond Lake – McDuffie County

Classic South
Clarks Hill Lake
Thomson, GA 30680
706-595-1684

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Clinton Nature Preserve

Historic High Country
8720 Ephesus Church Rd.
Villa Rica, GA 30180
770-920-7129

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Coast Guard/East Beach

Georgia Coast
4100 First St.
St. Simons Island, GA 31522
912-554-7780

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Coastal Georgia Birding Trail – Richmond Hill

Georgia Coast
520 Cedar St.
Richmond Hill, GA 31324
912-756-2676

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Cochran Mill Park

Atlanta Metro
6875 Cochran Mill Rd.
Chattahoochee Hills, GA 30268
770-463-8881

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Cohutta Wilderness Area

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

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Cohutta Wildlife Management Area

Historic High Country
North GA Mountains
Blue Ridge, GA 30540
706-635-7400

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Coleman River Scenic Area

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

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Colonial Coast Birding Trail – Savannah

Georgia Coast
Savannah Area
Savannah, GA 31401
000-000-0000

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Colonial Coast Birding Trail – St. Marys

Georgia Coast

St. Marys, GA 31558

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Conasauga District of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest

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

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Cooper Creek Recreation Area

Northeast Georgia Mountains
F.S. Rd. 4
Blairsville, GA 30572
706-745-6928

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Cooper’s Creek Wildlife Management Area

Northeast Georgia Mountains
GA Hwy. 60 and GA Hwy. 180
Blairsville, GA 30572
770-535-5700

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Cooper’s Furnace Day Use Area

Historic High Country
River Rd. south of Cartersville / PO Box 487
Cartersville, GA 30120
770-382-4700

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Country Oaks RV Park & Campground

Georgia Coast
St. Marys Rd.
Kingsland, GA 31548
912-729-6212

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