With heavily forested recreational areas, wildlife refuges, diverse flora, varying terrain, lush hedgerows, and acres of protected land, North Georgia is a birdwatcher’s paradise! As the Appalachian Mountains stretch on, they offer many different habitats for a variety of species of birds to live and thrive.
There are plenty of scenic spots for birdwatching in the area, whether by a lake, in a county park, next to a stream, atop a mountain, in a verdent valley, or within a lush forest. Another favorite birdwatching spot: from the deck of your North Georgia cabin! Enjoy the sights and sounds of nature from your private deck as you have your morning coffee or tea, sip a glass of local wine, or enjoy some lemonade on a sunny day.
Whether you’re a seasoned birdwatcher or a newbie, you’ll find some wonderful places to watch and listen in Blue Ridge, Ellijay, Blairsville, and surrounding areas. Make a fun sheet for kids and see who can find the most types of birds!
Birds of North Georgia
Georgia is home to a wide variety of birds, offering ample opportunities for birdwatchers year-round. Some are common birds and some are rare in North America, so keep your eye out for some of these North Georgia birds! Oh, and keep your ears open for the beautiful songbirds in the area!
- Wood Thrushers
- Eastern Screech Owls
- Chuck Wills Widows
- Chimney Swifts
- White-throated Sparrows
- White-breasted Nuthatches
- Tufted Titmouse
- Yellow-rumped Warblers
- Black Caps
- Blue Jays
- Northern Cardinals
- Carolina Chickadees
- American Goldfinch
- Brown Thrasher
- Mourning Dove
- Northern Flicker
- Red-winged Blackbird
- Pine Warbler
- Red-Bellied Woodpecker
- Carolina Wren
- Downy Woodpecker
- Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Top Birdwatching Spots in North Georgia
A favorite spot for hikers as well, Brasstown Bald in the Chattahoochee National Forest offers some beautiful mountain views and great spots for birdwatching. Soaring at 4,784 feet, Brasstown Bald holds the place as Georgia’s highest peak. Birdwatchers won’t have to go far to find a wide variety here, including Blue-headed Vireo, Witner Wren, Ruffed Grouse, Common Raven, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Veery, Canada Warbler, Dark-eye Junco, Black-throated Green Warbler, and Black-throated Blue Warbler.
Along the 3-mile summit road, birdwatchers can try to spot Broad-winged Hawk, Hooded Warbler, Pileated Woodpcker, Ovenbird, Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and Worm-eating Warbler, among many.
Fannin County Recreation Complex
Spanning over 100 acres, the Fannin County Recreation Complex boasts ample outdoor spaces for birdwatching. Make your way to the outskirts, near Sugar Creek, and enjoy trying to spot some of the more than 125 bird species that have been spotted in the area.
Among the species, look for Eastern Kingbirds, Blue Grosbeak, Eastern Bluebirds, Eastern Towhee, Common Yellowthroat, White-eyed Vireo, Eastern Meadowlark, Pileated Woodpecker, Wood Thrush, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Scarlet Tanager, Yellow-breasted Chat, Hooded Warbler, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Northern Parula, and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. Stop by the pond to see the Wood Duck House, where you may also watch for Spotted Sandpipers, Chipping Sparrow, and House Finch.
A trail by the large soccer field offers opportunities to spot Eastern Bluebirds, Common Grackles, Song Sparrows, Killdeer, Northern Mockingbirds, Eastern Phoebes, Brown-headed Cowbirds, Belted Kingfisher, Great Blue Heron, Green Heron, American Robins, Purple Martins, Barn Swallows, Rough-winged Swallows, and Tree Swallows!
The list goes on in the bushes near the border fence, where birdwatchers can listen for Indigo Bunting, Gray Catbird, Orchard Orioles (atop the Leyland Cypress trees), and Acadian Flycatcher.
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
About 1 ½ hours from Blue Ridge, Georgia, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park was the first park in the state of Gerogia to be named an Audubon Important Bird Area. It’s known for a regular influx of birds during spring and fall migrations and offers 18 miles of trails throughout the park, including the popular 1.2-mile paved trail – a favorite of birdwatchers.
Along the trail, visitors are treated to tanagers, orioles, thrushes, vireos, warblers (more than 20 species), and more. Cerulean Warblers are common here, making their most often appearances at the end of April. The park also features a visitor center where birdwatchers can pick up a bird-spotting list. Both adults and children love taking the list out to see what they can spot!
Lake Blue Ridge
Spring and summer at Lake Blue Ridge are great times for birdwatchers, with Common Loons, Horned Grebes, and Bufflehead Ducks near the Lake Blue Ridge Marina and Morganton Point. You may also spot Ring-billed Gulls, Bonaparte’s Gulls, or Black and Forster’s Terns. Start in the early mornings for the best viewing, where you’ll often watch Mallards and Canadian Geese. If you’re lucky you may spot nesting Bald Eagles and Osprey along the lake!
Floating down the Toccoa River is a favorite outdoor activity in North Georgia, and in season, it also doubles as a birdwatching spot! Watch for Osprey and Bald Eagle nests, along with Great Blue Herons, Green Herons, Pileated Woodpeckers, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and Wood Ducks.
What You’ll Need for Birding in the Blue Ridge Mountains
If you need some help with birdwatching in North Georgia, your first stop should be the Blue Ridge Bird Seed Company! They host Saturday Morning Bird Walks that take you to some of the best birdwatching places in the area. Just be sure to sign up ahead of time. They also offer some high-quality birdseed – and teach you how to safely feed the birds in your own backyard. Pick up a lovely birdbath, bird feeders, nd garden decor for your home or choose just the right birdhouse to hang up! And they offer clothing and birding accessories, including optics (binoculars) that are just right for YOU.
Birding at YOUR Blue Ridge Cabin
You don’t even have to leave your North Georgia cabin to go birdwatching! Grab your binoculars and pick a cabin tucked among the trees to watch for some backyard birds. Bear Aska Lodge is great for birdwatchers who want to stroll around a bit, and Bear Inn All and Mountain Relaxin’ allow you to watch for birds as you stay warm and relaxed by the outdoor fireplace on the deck! Want to watch for birds by the water? Stay at Toccoa River Mist!