Southeastern Outdoors Birds & Birding
Home > Wildlife > Birds > Georgia Birding Trails
Web Site Promotion

Long-Distance Travelers Return to Georgia DNR's Birding Trails

May 13, 2005

Forsyth, Georgia - Spring has sprung and the sunny days of summer are just around the corner. Along with the changing seasons in Georgia brings some of the most magnificent birds traveling through our state. Millions of brilliantly colored songbirds called neotropical migrants and migratory shorebirds spend much of their lives en route from breeding areas to wintering grounds and back again each year, passing through Georgia on their journeys. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) encourages amateur and experienced bird watchers alike to visit the Colonial Coast Birding Trail and Southern Rivers Birding Trail sites to catch a glimpse of some of these world travelers during this time of year.

"Some of the BEST places in Georgia to view diverse species and large numbers of shorebirds this spring and summer are along the birding trail sites," said Terry Johnson, WRD Nongame Wildlife Program Manager.

The Colonial Coast Birding Trail reveals superior bird watching locations along Georgia’s coast with destinations in seven counties along the I-95 corridor that include state and federal lands, parks and historic areas as well as private recreation sites. More than 370 bird species may be seen along the trail. It meanders through beautiful natural areas bordering large expanses of salt marshes and sites at the ocean, offering opportunities to see a variety of wading birds, shorebirds and songbirds.

Migratory shorebirds that may be seen as they pass through Georgia to their Artic nesting grounds might include dunlin, red knots, semipalmated sandpipers, long and short-billed dowitchers, and black-bellied plovers. In addition, many of the resident coastal breeders are preparing for nesting season. Colonial nesting waterbirds such as brown pelicans, royal terns, white ibises, little blue herons and snowy egrets can be seen nesting and feeding along the Colonial Coast Birding Trail.

One of the reasons that Georgia is so popular with these winged travelers is that we have an abundance of resources, says Todd Schneider, WRD Wildlife Biologist. We have many quality stopover sites that offer more feeding, nesting and refueling opportunities as compared to other areas along the Atlantic coast.

The Southern Rivers Birding Trail winds its way from the rolling hills of the Georgia Piedmont, southward across the broad expanse of the Coastal Plain before curling eastward and eventually terminating in the Okefenokee Swamp, the Land of Trembling Earth. The 30 sites situated along the trail have been carefully selected to provide the wildlife watcher with a broad spectrum of wildlife viewing experiences.

Many of the sites are located along two of the state's great rivers the Chattahoochee and Flint, said Johnson. These majestic rivers offer the outdoor enthusiast a wealth of recreational opportunities such as boating, fishing, hunting and bird watching.

Major river systems along with their associated bottomland hardwood forests provide vital migration corridors for many neotropical migrants. Many of the wood warblers, both resident and migrating species depend heavily on these habitats. Sites along the Southern Rivers Birding Tail provide excellent opportunities to catch a glimpse of those birds just passing through since their presence in Georgia is generally limited to just a few weeks of the year.

The Cape May, blackpoll, bay-breasted and magnolia warblers along with the rose-breasted grosbeak are just a few of the over 260 migratory and resident species that can be seen on the Southern Rivers Birding Trail during this excellent bird watching season, said Johnson.

For additional information on site locations and maps for Georgia’s Colonial Coast Birding Trail and Southern Rivers Birding Trail, visit WRD’s website and click on "Nongame Animals & Plants."

Georgians can support the conservation and management of migratory shorebirds and other nongame wildlife by purchasing a wildlife license plate for their vehicles, or by donating to the "Give Wildlife a Chance" State Income Tax Checkoff. Since December 2003, more than 365,000 of the nongame bald eagle tags have been sold, raising more than $6.9 million for wildlife conservation, recreation and education projects. The primary source of funding for the Nongame Wildlife and Natural Heritage Section, the plate depicts a bald eagle silhouetted before the American flag.

Birds Main
CWD by State
Bird Forums
Mammal Tracks
KY Peregrine Nest
Sponsor Links
Dale Hollow Marina
Related Links
Rehab Directory
Rehab Discussions
Whooping Crane Books