Georgia birds get much of their character by dint of the state being at the initial part of the Atlantic flyway. The migratory species of the state start their journey in early spring and return to the state in late fall. Together with the year round residents , the Georgia birds list hovers around the four hundred and fifty species mark.
From metro-Atlanta to the coastal regions, avid birders have recorded multiple birding hotspots in the 250 species range. The most helpful birding checklists for any particular area will note the seasonality of the different species. Take owls, for example. Four owl species:
- Great Horned Owl
- Eastern Screech-Owl
- Barred Owl
- Barn Owl
Many people associate owls with night time hunting. That’s mostly true. Birders also notice that, like many birds, owls can be found at dawn and dusk searching for food. When the sun sets some owls continue searching for food. Many, but not all other members of other bird families, especially common back yard birds, end their meal times after dark.
The video at the top of the page shows a Great-horned Owl. The blue sky background demonstrates that sometimes Great-horned owls can be found awake during the day. Birders also take notice of day time owl activity because it’s always nice to see owls during the day.
The Colonial Coast Birding Trail remains the go to destination for seeing up to three hundred other bird species.
Many of the eighteen different locations are easily accessible from I95. According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources,
Each site along the Colonial Coast Birding Trail is unique. Many sites offer visitors the opportunity to watch birds and visit 18th and 19th Century historic places. Other sites are located on lands and waters that were once part of early plantations dedicated to growing rice, indigo and cotton. So whether you want to see a bald eagle soaring over a coastal river, an endangered wood stork feeding its gawky young, sanderlings chasing the waves on a sandy beach, or a great egret standing motionless in a placid pond, the Colonial Coast Birding Trail has something for you.
The picture shows a Black Skimmer posing at the beach.
This brief introduction to Georgia birds is accompanied by a larger bird ID gallery,including video clips, that can be reached by pressing the green Birds button.
Like many states, Georgia celebrates a common year round resident as the official state bird, the Brown Thrasher. It’s the most common of the approximately half dozen Thrasher species present in the United States, with a range that extends to much of the country east of the Rocky Mountains.
Thrashers get noticed as the calm insectivores in many residential neighborhoods. They spend most of the day in he underbrush areas scraping the dirt with their bills in search of food. Bold stripes on the stomach are an identifying feature of the Brown Thrasher.
Less known is that fact that like Mockingbirds, they are mimics and can repeat a few phrases consistently.
Georgia Birds: Atlanta
Georgia’s southern location means that many birds migrating south for the winter end up there during the fall and winter. They flock to the city and many birds quickly acclimate to feeders filled with food upon their initial arrival.
This feeder familiarity spills over into the winter season until the visitors are ready to consider the journey north once again.
Like many areas of the East, Atlanta hosts some common feeder birds such as Blue Jays, Cardinals, Chickadees, Titmice and the aforementioned sparrows.
The picture at the top of this section shows a Tufted Titmouse, one of many year round residents of the Atlanta area.
The woodpeckers button leads to greater details covering the state’s woodpecker population. They are also one of the common feeder birds year round.
Tourists visiting Atlanta soon discover it’s a great birding destination year round. Water birds thrive in the city limits thanks in part to the presence of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.
Up to twenty duck species have been documented, although only a handful, such as mallards and wood ducks are fairly common year round. Other species such as the Ring-necked duck find the area a pleasant winter destination.
Here’s a quick look at some additional year round or almost year round birds, starting with the Brown-headed Cowbird.
They ranks as the most common of the Icterid species, along with the Common Grackle and Red-winged Blackbirds.
Five wren species can be found occasionally in the area. The Carolina Wren is the only year round resident.
A handful of the singing birds in the thrush family such as eastern blue birds and robins are also common years round residents in the Atlanta area.
Narrowing down the greater Atlanta metro area, consider the Piedmont Park bird checklist with its approximately one hundred and eighty species mark. There’s always a good birding day to be had at the park.
Spring migration can be special with some three dozen warbler species possibly moving through the area. Tourists with a bit more time on their hands might want to take a brief trip north on I75 to Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park for a great day trip. It’s ranked as a premiere destination for the spring migration with warblers abundant during the spring.
Research by a variety of organizations including the Bird Conservancy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Audubon, for example, suggests a changing climate suggests is less lant an ideal for many of the neo-tropical birds that migrate to Georgia for the breeding season, including the warblers.
The picture shows a male Yellow Rumped warbler. Typically they already migrate further north during the breeding season and enjoy the warm Georgia winters.