Birds In Georgia: 25 Amazing Species To Look Out For

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Georgia is a populous state on the Southeastern edge of the United States. The Peach State also has vast areas that haven’t yet been altered by urban development. And that’s why it’s one of the best destinations to enjoy nature.  

There are vast swamps in the south, the Appalachian mountains in the north, woodlands throughout the state, and a never-ending coastline at the shores of the Atlantic ocean. That’s why it’s not surprising that there are 80 different mammal species and 425 species of birds. 

So if you’re planning a day out to enjoy nature and do some birdwatching, here are 25 amazing birds in Georgia that you should look for. 

Red Birds in Georgia

Scarlet Tanager

Scarlet Tanager

  • Scientific Name: Piranga olivacea
  • Length: 6.3-6.7 in
  • Weight: 0.8-1.3 oz
  • Wingspan: 9.8-11.4 in

The Scarlet Tanager is a beautiful bird with a flaming red body and black wings. Even though it’s easy to identify this bird, seeing it is a rare treat. That’s because it spends most of its time up in the highest canopies in deciduous forests. 

In spring and summer, Scarlet Tanagers often feast on the blooming berries. And they fill the air with their melodious songs. These birds are generally agreeable, to the point that they can forage alongside other winter bird species during the cold months.   

Scarlet Tanagers’ sweet nature sometimes extends to caring for eggs that aren’t their own, and crows take advantage of that fully. These intruders cunningly get rid of a tanager’s egg and replace it with their own.       

Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal

  • Scientific Name: Cardinalis cardinalis
  • Length: 8.3-9.1 in
  • Weight: 1.5-1.7 oz
  • Wingspan: 9.8-12.2 in

Like many of the heavily colored types of birds, male Northern Cardinals have brighter tones than females. They are almost all red with just a little black mask surrounding their thick bills.  

The females have a few patches of red on their crests, tails, and wings, but they’re mostly pale brown. This is convenient camouflage during breeding season as the female is the sole egg incubator. They share an identifying feature with the males, which is a prominent crest above their smallish heads.

Northern Cardinals are native birds common throughout North America and aren’t too hard to spot as they’re often near shrubs and bird feeders. Put out some of their favorite foods, like sunflower seeds or safflower seeds, and watch the magic. Their songs help in identifying them as well. You can hear their distinctive metallic chirruping a mile away! 

Vermilion Flycatcher

Vermilion Flycatcher

  • Scientific Name: Pyrocephalus rubinus
  • Length: 4.8-5.4 in
  • Weight: 0.4-0.5 oz
  • Wingspan: 9.4 to 9.8 in

The Latin name of the Vermilion Flycatcher means fire-headed, which is an accurate description of the males’ flaming-red color. The females have gray-brown upperparts and white underparts with brown streaks.

It seems that the flashy appearance is among several criteria needed to attract a female’s attention. The Vermilion Flycatchers are known to bring gifts for their belles, often a butterfly, to win their affection.  

These birds mainly eat flying insects, so they’re often seen perched on fences or shrubs. They’re agile flyers and can easily catch their food in midair in one quick swoop! 

Red-Headed Woodpecker

Red-Headed Woodpecker

  • Scientific Name: Melanerpes erythrocephalus
  • Length: 7.5-9.1 in
  • Weight: 2.0-3.2 oz
  • Wingspan: 16.5 in

This bird has a crimson-red head and black body and is fairly iconic. But still, the Red-headed Woodpecker might not be too easy to spot. That’s because its habitat has been consistently eroded over the years. 

This smart bird doesn’t just catch food; it cleverly hides it in trees. Thus, you’d probably find it in woodlots, around dead timber in the swamp areas, and pine woodlands, clinging to a tree and propped up with its stiff black tail. 

As you walk by these places, listen in to the tap-tapping and drumming sounds of this woodpecker’s drilling. It also has a harsh call that’s hard to miss.     

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

  • Scientific Name: Dryocopus pileatus
  • Length: 15.8-19.3 in
  • Weight: 8.8-12.3 oz
  • Wingspan: 26.0-29.5 in

The Pileated Woodpecker is among the larger birds of the forest, and it could easily reach the size of a crow. Its red crest and cheek bands are its main telling marks. 

These loud woodpeckers are fond of carpenter ants. So chances are you’ll encounter them around dead or dying trees along woodland edges in mature forests. And when their stomachs are full, they’ll fly to the highest treetops in the forest.   

If you want to try attracting them, try setting up a suet feeder.

Blue Birds in Georgia

Indigo Bunting

Indigo Bunting

  • Scientific Name: Passerina cyanea
  • Length: 4.7-5.1 in
  • Weight: 0.4-0.6 oz
  • Wingspan: 7.5-8.7 in

The bright blue Indigo Buntings are as small as a sparrow. They’re a pleasure to observe, and luckily you can attract them to your backyard feeder. Midsummer is the best time to find these beautiful birds. 

They fancy small seeds that they can easily digest, like thistle or maybe nyjer. And if you really want to please them, you can leave them a tin full of mealworms. 

Indigo Buntings are the ultimate travelers. They’re migratory birds that use the stars to find their way. Scientists believe that these birds have an internal compass that adjusts their flight angle in relation to a specific star.   

Blue-Throated Mountaingem

Blue-throated Mountain Gem

  • Scientific Name: Lampornis clemenciae
  • Length: 4.3-4.7 in
  • Weight: 0.3-0.3 oz
  • Wingspan: 3.1-2.3 in

The blue gorget, bronze-green head, and long bill are the main characteristics of the Blue-Throated Mountaingem. It’s a tiny-sized bird that’s smaller than a sparrow. 

These birds make their nests at very high altitudes from 3,200 to 11,500 feet. They mainly feed on nectar, so they’ll often choose places abundant with flowers. 

Belted Kingfisher

Belted Kingfisher

  • Scientific Name: Megaceryle alcyon
  • Length: 11.0-13.8 in
  • Weight: 4.9-6.0 oz
  • Wingspan: 18.9-22.8 in

The belts on these birds are primarily found in female Belted Kingfishers. Other than that, they share the same general appearance and coloring. 

They’re both covered with greyish blue feathers, with some white spots on their belly. They also have a distinctive white band around their necks. The heads of these birds are a bit too large in proportion to their small bodies, and they have a disheveled blue crest. 

Belted Kingfishers are often perched on high trees or poles beside water bodies. And as soon as they spot aquatic prey, they swiftly fly down and gobble it up.  

Blue Jay

Blue Jay

  • Scientific Name: Cyanocitta cristata
  • Length: 9.8-11.8 in
  • Weight: 2.5-3.5 oz
  • Wingspan: 13.4-16.9 in

Blue Jays are beautiful songbirds with striking appearances. Their feathers have several shades of blue, in addition to distinctive black and white patches, making them the most remarkably colored corvids in the world.

These birds are quite smart, and they share elaborate social structures. They’re migratory birds, but they don’t seem to follow a discernible pattern in their travels. They’re common feeder birds, so if you have oak trees or a bird feeder in your backyard, you’ll probably meet plenty of Blue Jays.  

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow

  • Scientific Name: Tachycineta bicolor
  • Length: 4.7-5.9 in
  • Weight: 0.6-0.9 oz 
  • Wingspan: 11.8-13.8 in

The deep blue colors are more prominent in male Tree Swallows than in the female of the species. Nevertheless, they’re both gorgeous little birds, barely the size of a sparrow.  Their blue head and white belly make a fascinating combination.

Tree Swallows prefer to live around wetlands or other open areas near lakes. They form vast communal societies where they molt and roost. These birds are quite acrobatic in the air, especially as they chase plump insects midair.  

Green Birds in Georgia

Northern Shoveler

Northern Shoveler

  • Scientific Name: Spatula clypeata
  • Length: 17.3-20.1 in
  • Weight: 14.1-28.9 oz
  • Wingspan: 27.2-33.1 in

The males of the Northern Shoveler are quite different from the females. They have a green head, brick-red flanks, white and black patterns, and blue patches on the insides of their wings. Other telling features are their yellow eyes and shovel-like black bills. The females are smaller, brownish, and their bills are a bright orange color.  

These shovelers build their nests right beside the water and spend most of their time swimming and foraging for aquatic food. They mainly eat invertebrates and seeds that fall into the water. 

You’d mostly find them in shallow waters like rice fields and in the marshes that form beside the coastline. 

Mallard

Mallard

  • Scientific Name: Anas platyrhynchos
  • Length: 19.7-25.6 in
  • Weight: 35.3-45.9 oz
  • Wingspan: 32.3-37.4 in

These big birds have a lot in common with the Northern Shovelers. But you can tell one from the other by the neon green color of the Mallard’s head, its more defined colors, as well as its smaller yellow bill.

Mallards are quite sociable, and they aren’t picky at all when it comes to living arrangements. These gentle ducks would be happy floating on any water body, as long as it has plants they can graze on. 

This familiar bird can just as easily take up residence and become common backyard birds in urban and residential waterways and artificial ponds.  Their adaptation to human environments has made it easy for them to find homes anywhere, even golf courses.

Greater Scaup

Greater Scaup

  • Scientific Name: Aythya marila
  • Length: 15.3-22.1 in
  • Weight: 25.6-48.0 oz
  • Wingspan: 28.4-31.1 in

A Greater Scaup’s very round head is its telling feature. Its shiny green color helps, too, as it’s unique to this duck. It has white edges on its feathers and stomach. It also has a bluish bill, but that’s not too easy to notice unless you’re standing close. 

The females of this species and the non-breeding males are hard to identify, as they’re mostly brown. 

You’d easily find Greater Scaup ducks in large wetlands, around bays, and splashing in lakes. They’re docile, good-natured, and flock with several other ducks as well. 

Mexican Violetear

Mexican Violetear

  • Scientific Name: Colibri thalassinus
  • Length: 3.8-4.7 in
  • Weight: 0.17-0.20 oz
  • Wingspan: 2.3-2.7 in

The Mexican Violetear belongs to the hummingbird family, and it’s characterized by a dazzling metallic green-colored body. It also has two identifiable features if you’re up close: a thin long bill and extra small feet. 

The bird’s small feet aren’t just tiny; they’re also weak and can barely carry their weight. That’s why a Mexican Violetear rarely forages on the ground, and it conducts most of its affairs flying up in the air.   

These unusual birds are commonly found in the forested areas of the south, especially in Mexico and Nicaragua.   

Hooded Warbler

Hooded Warbler

  • Scientific Name: Setophaga citrina
  • Length: 5.1 in
  • Weight: 0.32-0.42 oz
  • Wingspan: 6.9 in

The Hooded Warbler is a plump little bird that’s smaller than a sparrow. Both males and females have bright yellow bodies and olive-green upperparts. The males have an extra black hood around the head, while the females do not. 

The little birds are quite territorial, and they often return to their wintering area season after season. They have a distinct melodic sound, and interestingly, each male has an individual, unique song.  

Hooded Warblers often live in canopied forests, preferably right above a shrub. They rarely visit backyard feeders, but you can plant a few low-hanging trees and they might give that a try.

Orange Birds in Georgia

Allen’s Hummingbird

Allen's Hummingbird

  • Scientific Name: Selasphorus sasin
  • Length: 3.5 in
  • Weight: 0.1-0.1 oz
  • Wingspan: 4.3 in

Allen’s Hummingbirds are petite birds with long bills and an overall bright orange coloring. The males have a remarkable gorget that extends from their bills down to their chests. The females are rather modest and demure. 

The feeding habits of Allen’s hummingbirds are typical of that species, and you’ll often see them fluttering from flower to flower like their cousin, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. They mainly collect the nectar, but they wouldn’t say no to an insect. Both flying and crawling varieties are quite acceptable. 

Varied Thrush

Varied Thrush

  • Scientific Name: Ixoreus naevius
  • Length: 7.5-10.2 in
  • Weight: 2.3-3.5 oz
  • Wingspan: 13.4-15.0 in

The Varied Thrush is approximately as large as a robin. The males and females have similar black and orange markings (the dark head with the orange stripes) and a white stubborn belly, but the males seem to have more vibrant colors. 

These birds have a large appetite and rarely say no to any food. They prefer insects but feed just as happily on nuts and fruits. You can see a Varied thrush hopping on the ground foraging for insects or perching on low-hanging understories in dense foliage. 

Red Crossbill

Red Crossbill

  • Scientific Name: Loxia curvirostra
  • Length: 7.9 in
  • Weight: 1.4-1.9 oz
  • Wingspan: 10.6-11.4 in

The adult Red Crossbill finch is barely the size of a sparrow. It’s orange all over, rather slim, and has an oddly twisted bill. The females have similarly curved bills, but they’re otherwise very different in coloring from their partners. 

Red Crossbills often perch on top of conifer trees, where they feast on the seeds. Occasionally, they’ll fly down to the ground and pick up grit right after sunrise. These birds are sociable and often forage and nest in flocks. 

Yellow Birds in Georgia

Great Crested Flycatcher

Great Crested Flycatcher

  • Scientific Name: Myiarchus crinitus
  • Length: 6.7-8.3 in
  • Weight: 0.9-1.4 oz
  • Wingspan: 13.4 in

Great Crested Flycatchers are broad-chested birds the size of a robin. They have yellow bellies, long tails, and thick crests. The females are slightly smaller than the males but share the same appearance. 

These birds aren’t too keen on going out and looking for food. They’d much rather perch on treetops and wait for a plump insect to come their way.   

Western Kingbird

Western Kingbird

  • Scientific Name: Tyrannus verticalis
  • Length: 7.9-9.4 in
  • Weight: 1.3-1.6 oz
  • Wingspan: 15.0-16.1 in

Western Kingbirds are stocky flycatchers with a bright yellow belly and thick bill. Their tails and the edges of their wings are a distinct black color. And if they spread their wings and fly, you’d notice that they have a remarkably long span. 

These birds love insects, and they actively go after their food, whether it’s midair or on the ground. 

Kingbirds are excessively territorial, and if another bird steps into their personal space, these aggressive birds will throw a fit. So it’s not unusual to see these birds fluttering their wings and vocalizing their displeasure with an intruder. 

Yellow-Throated Vireo

Yellow-Throated Vireo

  • Scientific Name: Vireo flavifrons
  • Length: 5.1-5.9 in
  • Weight: 0.5-0.7 oz
  • Wingspan: 9.1 in

The Yellow-throated Vireo is a picture-perfect little bird that’s barely the size of a sparrow yet, looks well-fed and chubby. Its bright yellow and green coloring and cute appearance make it a favorite among birdwatchers. 

It’s easier to spot a Vireo in summer than in winter, as it often nests in lower hanging branches at the extremities of forests. While in winter, it goes deeper into the foliage and takes residence at much higher altitudes. 

This bird has a rather limited diet made up primarily of the insects that crawl around the trees. It simply picks what it finds on the branches, leaves, and tree trunk.  

Other Birds To Watch For in Georgia

Rock Pigeon

Rock Pigeon

  • Scientific Name: Columba livia
  • Length: 11.8-14.2 in
  • Weight: 9.3-13.4 oz
  • Wingspan: 19.7-26.4 in

Rock pigeons are majestic-looking birds that walk with poise and stand with pride. They often have metallic blue, green, and purple coloring on their necks. They look like the richer cousins of the Mourning Doves. As for their size, they’re larger than a robin, with a strapping chest and a small head.  

These common birds can take residence anywhere. We often see this bird in downtown Atlanta in urban parks looking for leftover food and in the countryside or on rocky cliffs. However, Rock Pigeons aren’t frequent visitors, and you might need to search a little before finding one.

They might move in flocks, which is a typical pigeon behavior, or they could fly solo. Feeding a Rock Pigeon is easy, as it will pick seeds up from the ground. Getting closer is a bit harder, though, as it scares easily and flies right off.  

White-Faced Ibis

White-Faced Ibis

  • Scientific Name: Plegadis chihi
  • Length: 18.1-22.1 in
  • Weight: 15.9-18.5 oz
  • Wingspan: 35.4-36.6 in

The White-faced Ibis is a large bird that’s often found wading in shallow water looking for food. It’s often dark-colored, with shades of maroon, brown, and buff. A couple of characteristic features of this ibis are its downward-curving bill and long reddish legs.

Typically, you’d find this ibis nesting and foraging in the marshes. It feeds mainly on aquatic invertebrates, in addition to any other small creatures it might find. This bird often has a long life that could extend to 12 years.  

Pacific Loon

Pacific Loon

  • Scientific Name: Gavia pacifica
  • Length: 22.8-29.1 in
  • Weight: 35.3-88.2 oz
  • Wingspan: 43.3-50.4 in

The Pacific Loon is a peculiar-looking bird with a long body and rather large head. It has various black and white patterns on its neck, wings, and back and white-colored underparts. Another distinctive feature of this bird is its red beady eyes. 

Pacific Loons are water birds with well-adapted short legs that propel them well in lakes and ponds, in addition to helping them dive underwater to catch fish. 

These migratory birds often come during the winter from their homes in the Arctic and Subarctic regions. They often seek warmer spots around the coastline, along bays, and even in reservoirs.

Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill

  • Scientific Name: Platalea ajaja
  • Length: 27.9-33.9 in
  • Weight: 42.3-63.5 oz
  • Wingspan: 47.2-51.2 in

As the name implies, the Roseate Spoonbill is a pink bird with a bill that’s shaped like a long spoon. It’s a wading waterbird that has a lot in common with flamingoes. 

The Spoonbills have long necks that they often fold in an S-shape when they are walking. But as they start to fly, they extend it fully forward. Their necks change shape once more when they dip their heads into the shallow waters looking for food. In that case, they appear to be swinging their heads sideways.

These birds live in large mixed communities that include other spoonbills, ibises, egrets, and herons. You can find them where there’s a bit of foliage beside a waterbody. Mangroves, wetlands, and swamps are all good places to spot a Spoonbill.  

Conclusion 

It’s a rare thing to find such a variety of geography, mild weather, and untouched nature all in one place. That’s why Georgia is one of the best destinations to explore the beauty of nature. 

That was our list of 25 stunning birds that you shouldn’t miss in Georgia. You might want to check out our articles about woodpeckers and hawks while you’re at it. These birds are easy to spot and identify. And there’s a good chance you’ll come across one anywhere in the Peach State.   

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