Wildlife in Georgia, USA
We love the sights and sounds of Atlanta, but from time to time it is nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. So why not explore life on the wild side in Georgia? With five different major geographical regions and a humid subtropical climate, our Southeastern state can boast a weighty variety of wildlife. We take a look at what you can expect to find across the state from the vast variety of birds, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. And we have some fun facts for you to learn.
Head east from Atlanta and you will eventually reach the 110 miles of Georgia coastline. It’s in these parts that freshwater and marine habitats merge making for great birding opportunities so you can expect to see both seabirds and shorebirds. While off the coast in the Atlantic Ocean you may spot manatees and dolphins swimming while Blackbeard Island, Sapelo Island, and Catherine’s Island are where wildlife enthusiasts head in search of alligators, armadillos, deer, and, if you look up, bald eagles too.
Back on the coastal plains of the mainland, you need to keep your eyes peeled for snakes. There are six venomous snakes in the state including copperheads, cottonmouths, and the Eastern Coral Snake, but these tend to be confused with the much higher populations of non-venomous snakes in Georgia so it is best to do your research beforehand so as not to confuse any.
In The Mountains
In the northern parts of the state, you will be in the Appalachian Mountains and among swamp sand coastal marshes. It is also home to the highest peak in the region, Brasstown Bald, which is a popular Georgia birding spot, especially in spring and summer. Here you can find a wide range of warblers as well as the ruffed grouse, blue-headed vireo, and the common raven. Look up high and you may see birds of prey such as eagles, owls, hawks, and ospreys circling, possibly on the hunt for the various small creatures in the area such as mice, squirrels, and possums. The aforementioned copperhead snakes can also be found in these parts too.
Fleet-footed creatures including bobcats and gray foxes are regularly spotted around these parts and it is best to always be on the lookout for black bears too. In the swamps, you might be lucky enough to spot a salamander, an amphibian that looks somewhere between a lizard and a frog!
In the Forests & Woodlands
Georgia is home to 867,000 acres of forest across 26 counties and here you can find a wide variety of mammals such as white-tailed deer, weasels, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, and big brown bats. As with the mountains, black bears may roam in these parts too.
In and around the state’s woodlands, including Piedmont Park in Atlanta itself, you will find many different species of hummingbirds including the most commonly spotted and beautiful ruby-throated hummingbird (pictured above). You are also likely to see hawks up above red-winged blackbirds, woodpeckers, and sparrows in the wetlands. The dark-eyed juncos are plentiful in winter making this a great birding area within the city limits.
As you can see, there is plenty of wildlife to spot in our Peach State, and this is only an insight into the many different animals that meander the coast, the mountains, and the forests of Georgia. Whether you visit Atlanta for a day trip or a longer vacation, don’t miss the opportunity to see some of our exquisite wildlife. Before you go, check out these animal facts below:
Did You Know?
- The largest wild hog ever discovered was found and killed in Alapaha, Georgia. Weighing in at 1,000 pounds and measuring 12 feet in length, the creature was nicknamed “Hogzilla”.
- Indian Springs State Park in middle Georgia is thought to be the oldest state park in the country.
- Birds are protected by federal law and mammals are protected by state law. Violations of these laws can result in legal action and stiff fines being levied against you.
- The Brown thrasher is Georgia’s official state bird and can be found throughout the state – it boasts a repertoire of more than 1,000 song types.