With over 410 recorded species, the Peach State is an amazing birdwatching destination in the Southeast of the United States. Georgia boasts beautiful coasts, swamps, forests, woodlands, and mountains which all make great birding habitats.
In this list of amazing birds of Georgia, I’ll be introducing you to 18 awesome species, and provide a picture of each one to help you recognize them. Let’s get started!
The Brown Thrasher is the state bird of Georgia, so it’s only natural to start our list here! Brown Thrashers are excellent singers. Their lovely song is heard more often than the birds are seen though because they are a shy species.
Brown Thrashers occur throughout Georgia and are residents there all through the year. Look out for these birds in areas with dense, tangled vegetation.
2. Eastern Screech Owl
Eastern Screech Owls are the most common owls in Georgia. They are small birds, measuring just 10 inches or so in length. These awesome little birds are quite at home in the suburbs and even nest in birdhouses sometimes.
Eastern Screech Owls have amazing camouflage which makes them very difficult to spot during the day. Their spooky calls are often heard on quiet nights though.
3. Wood Stork
Wood storks are large white birds of Georgia with bald heads and necks. In the United States, these birds can only be seen in wetlands in the South East, and Georgia is one of the best states to find them.
Wood Storks eat fish and other small animals that they catch in shallow water. They can catch their prey in muddy ponds by moving their beaks slowly through the water and feeling for the movements of fish.
Ospreys are large black and white hawks with bright yellow eyes. Although Ospreys can be seen throughout the United States, they are resident birds of prey in Georgia and can be seen all through the year there.
These hawks feed on fish that they catch from the surface of fresh and saltwater. To help them grab a hold of their slippery prey, Ospreys have long, sharp talons, specially adapted toes, and barbed surfaces under their feet.
5. Downy Woodpecker
Downy woodpeckers are small black and white birds of Georgia that are fascinating to watch as they climb up and down the trunks of trees. You can tell a male from a female by the red patch he has on the back of his head.
Downy woodpeckers are common Georgia birds that can also be seen throughout much of North America. They are one of the American woodpeckers that are most likely to show up at backyard bird feeders, where they love to feed on suet, mealworms, and peanuts.
6. Yellow-billed cuckoo
The yellow-billed cuckoo has a taste for caterpillars. These shy breeding birds can eat as many as 100 of them in one go! This is good news because these bugs can be quite a pest.
Yellow-billed cuckoos don’t always build their own nests and raise their own chicks. These birds also lay their eggs in the nests of other birds, who then incubate the eggs and feed the babies as if they were their own.
7. Boat-tailed Grackle
Boat-tailed Grackles are birds from the crow family that can only be seen in the coastal areas of the Southeastern United States. The males are glossy black, while the females are dull brown and are much smaller than the males.
Boat-tailed Grackles are most at home around coastal saltmarshes but are just as happy to forage around human habitation. These birds feed on just about anything and will take small animals, seeds, and fruits in nature. They will also visit backyard bird feeders.
8. Baltimore Oriole
It’s not difficult to see why Baltimore Orioles are one of America’s favorite birds. The male is particularly pretty but the female also has a beautiful golden belly. These birds are quite at home around suburban areas and are often attracted to oriole feeders.
Baltimore Orioles are breeding birds of north Georgia, moving south in the non-breeding season. These birds can be found in some part of the state throughout the year though.
9. Brown-headed Nuthatch
The Brown-headed Nuthatch is another typical bird of the American Southeast. These birds can be found in pine forests where they feed on small insects that they find on the trees.
In those areas, these tiny birds will happily feed on backyard suet feeders. Brown-headed Nuthatches are cavity nesters that look for holes in trees like old woodpecker nests, but they will also use nest boxes.
10. Indigo Bunting
The Indigo Bunting is a common but beautiful little bird that can be seen throughout the Eastern and Central United States where they breed. These little birds feed on seeds, insects, and berries and will often visit finch feeders in backyards. They can be seen in a variety of habitats all over the state in the warmer months.
Female Indigo Buntings are a plain color and non-breeding males have just a little blue on their feathers. It is the breeding males that have the deep indigo plumage that gives these birds their name.
11. American Oystercatcher
American Oystercatchers are coastal birds of Georgia that are most at home on the shoreline where shellfish are found. These birds dine on animals like oysters, mussels, and clams. They have a loud whistling call that carries for long distances in this environment.
American Oystercatchers are monogamous birds, that nest on the ground. The eggs are laid in a simple scrape in the sand and are really difficult to spot.
12. Black-Bellied Whistling-Duck
The Black-bellied Whistling-Duck has become more common in Georgia over the last few decades. These great-looking ducks stand very upright and are easy to identify by their black bellies, grey heads, and pink bills and legs.
You might be lucky enough to find Black-bellied Whistling Ducks in both wet and dry environments, including farmlands and lawns, as well as ponds, rivers, and mangroves. These birds are cavity nesters, and they will happily use larger nest boxes to raise their families.
13. Painted Bunting
The male Painted Bunting is one of the most vibrantly colorful birds in North America. In fact, these birds have so much color that they look almost unreal! The females and juveniles are a lot more subdued, being a greenish color overall.
These incredible little Georgia birds breed in some parts of the state and only pass through other areas on their way to the breeding grounds further north.
14. Brown Pelican
Brown Pelicans are awesome birds of Georgia coastal areas. They are usually seen on beaches, mudflats, on jetties, and around harbors. These huge birds dive into the water with a big splash to catch their fish prey.
Brown Pelicans are residents in Georgia throughout the year and breed there. Although they may not look very graceful when on land, these big birds are masters of the skies and water.
15. Pine Warbler
The Pine Warbler is a great little Georgia bird that is most at home in areas with plenty of its favorite pine trees. They can be difficult to spot in their natural habitat but are pretty bold and aggressive in the colder months.
Both males and females have yellow plumage, but the males are definitely more colorful. Pine warblers mostly eat insects, but they will also eat seeds, and are very welcome visitors to many backyard bird feeders.
16. Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are common backyard birds of Georgia. They are the only breeding hummingbird species in the state. These tiny birds just love visiting hummingbird feeders and are a common sight in back yards.
Only the Male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have the colorful throat, black face mask, and green cap. Juveniles and females are plainer, but also have glossy green backs.
17. Black Skimmer
Black Skimmers are very unusual and interesting Georgia birds. They can be spotted in coastal areas like beaches, estuaries, and saltmarshes.
The most obvious identifying feature of these birds is the long lower mandible of their bills, which extends out further than the top. This unusual beak is used for hunting small fish by flying low over the water with the bill dragging just under the surface.
18. Northern Bobwhite
Like the Brown Thrasher, Northern Bobwhites are also birds of Georgia with an official title. They are the official state game bird of Georgia. Northern Bobwhites have a very distinctive call, which can be helpful in tracking down these shy and nervous ground birds.
Northern Bobwhites mostly feed on seeds and other plant material. They will occasionally visit ground feeders in rural areas. Insects are also taken, and they are the most important part of the chicks’ diet. Bobwhites are social birds that are usually seen in groups known as coveys.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the largest birds in Georgia?
Which finches live in Georgia?
There are many finch species in Georgia, including beautiful species like the American Goldfinch and the Purple Finch.
Which types of hawks live in Georgia?
There are at least 5 different hawks that you can spot in the state. These Georgia birds of prey include the Red-tailed Hawk, the Red-shouldered Hawk, the Broad-winged Hawk, the Sharp-shinned Hawk, and Cooper’s Hawk.
Also Read: Birds Of Wisconsin
After going through this list, I bet you’re pretty excited about bird watching in Georgia! With so many different species, I’m sure you’ll have many amazing sightings. As a challenge, why not try to find all of the birds on this list? Good luck!