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

Cravey Acres

Georgia Coast
4497 Dryden Rd.
Waycross, GA 31503
912-655-3709

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Crockford-Pigeon Mountain WMA

Historic High Country
Rocky Lane Rd.
Lafayette, GA 30728
706-295-6041

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Cumberland Island National Seashore

Georgia Coast

Cumberland Island, GA 31558
912-882-4336

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Currahee Mountain

Northeast Georgia Mountains
GA Hwy. 17 and GA Hwy. 365
Toccoa, GA 30577
706-886-2132

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Currahee Vineyard & Winery

Northeast Georgia Mountains
3301 West Currahee
Toccoa, GA 30577
706-768-5383

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Dacula Park

Atlanta Metro
205 Dacula Rd.
Dacula, GA 30019
770-814-6054

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Dauset Trails Nature Center

Historic Heartland
360 Mt. Vernon Rd.
Jackson, GA 30233-5926
770-775-6798

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Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area

Northeast Georgia Mountains
GA Hwy. 53 W.
Dawsonville, GA 30534
770-535-5700

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Deep Hole Recreation Area

Historic High Country
Hwy. 60 S.
Blue Ridge, GA 30572
706-745-6928

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Desoto Falls and Desoto Falls Recreation Area

Northeast Georgia Mountains
U.S. Hwy. 129
Dahlonega, GA 30533
706-745-6928

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Dockery Lake Recreation Area

Northeast Georgia Mountains
F.S. Rd. 654 off GA Hwy. 60
Dahlonega, GA 30533
706-745-6928

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Don White Memorial Park

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

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Drake Field

Atlanta Metro
155 Willowbend Rd.
Peachtree City, GA 30269
770-631-2525

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Dub Denman Canoe Trail

Historic High Country
131 Doe Valley Drive
Tallapoosa, GA 30176
(770) 574-0995

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Dukes Creek Falls and Recreation Area

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

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Dunham Farms and Melon Bluff

Georgia Coast
2999 Islands Hwy.
Midway, GA 31320
912-880-4500

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Earl Duncan Park at Paulding Meadows

Historic High Country
724 Paulding Meadows Dr.
Dallas, GA 30132
770-445-6016

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East Roswell Park

Atlanta Metro
9000 Fouts Rd.
Roswell, GA 30075
770-640-3253

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Eastbank Campground – Lake Seminole

Plantation Trace
153 Eastbank Rd.
Bainbridge, GA 39819
877-444-6777

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Elbert County Wildlife Management Area

Northeast Georgia Mountains
Off GA Hwy. 72
Elberton, GA 30635
770-595-4222

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Elijah Clark State Park

Classic South
2959 McCormick Hwy.
Lincolnton, GA 30817
706-359-3458

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Explore Highway 341

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

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Fernbank Museum of Natural History/ Fernbank Forest

Atlanta Metro
767 Clifton Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30307
404-929-6300

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Fernbank Science Center

Atlanta Metro
156 Heaton Park Dr.
Atlanta, GA 30307
678-874-7102

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Flat Creek Nature Area

Atlanta Metro
201 McIntosh Trail
Peachtree City, GA 30269

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Flat Rock Park

Presidential Pathways
6106 Warm Springs Rd.
Columbus, GA 31909
706-225-4658

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Flint River Wildlife Management Area

Presidential Pathways
GA Hwy. 27 to Hwy. 230 on River Rd.
Vienna, GA 31015
229-430-4254

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Florence Marina State Park

Presidential Pathways
218 Florence Rd.
Omaha, GA 31821
229-838-6870

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Flowery Branch Bay Park

Northeast Georgia Mountains
6111 Mitchell St.
Flowery Branch, GA 30542
770-967-6371

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Forrest Hills Resort

Northeast Georgia Mountains
135 Forrest Hills Rd.
Dahlonega, GA 30533
800-654-6313

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