Birding Locations In Savannah


Coastal Georgia is a great place to watch birds. To start with, we have a marvelous assortment of birds that find this a hospitable place to live all year long. A backyard feeder in almost any neighborhood will attract an assortment of seed-eating birds, including cardinals, chickadees, titmice, woodpeckers, finches, blue jays, and nuthatches. In addition to these residents, there are the tourists – birds that visit Georgia for a season. Neo-tropical migrants like hummingbirds and painted buntings come up for the summer nesting season. Ducks, sparrows, goldfinches, and waxwings come for our temperate winter climate and more abundant food.

 

Savannah anchors the north end of the Georgia Colonial Coast Birding Trail, which will provide you with the opportunity to see and enjoy the beauty of the birds and glimpse the fascinating history of this land and its residents.  More than 300 species of birds (75 percent of the total species of birds seen in Georgia) have been spotted at the 18 sites along the birding trail.  Visit the Georgia’s Colonial Coast Birding Trail website for more detailed information about all sites on the trail.

 

Here are some of our favorite spots:

Forsyth Park / Downtown Savannah

Between Drayton and Whitaker Streets (east and west) and Gaston and Park Streets (north and south).  Urban park.

  • Habitat:  Urban park with a variety of trees and grassy lawns
  • Types of Birds: Songbirds
  • Specialties: Chimney Swifts
  • Spring & Fall – Migratory Songbirds
  • Summer – Resident nesters – woodpeckers, brown thrashers, mockingbirds, chimney swifts

 

Fort Pulaski National Monument

Cockspur Island off Highway 80. Open fields, pine woodlands, salt marsh, tidal creeks.

  • Habitat:  Open fields, pine woodlands, salt marsh, tidal creeks, sand beach
  • Types of Birds: Songbirds, shorebirds, wading birds, waterfowl
  • Specialties:  Painted bunting, salt-marsh sparrows
  • Fall & Winter – marsh sparrows, clapper rails, wading birds, raptors
  • Spring – robins, waxwings, migratory songbirds
  • Summer – nesting bluebirds

Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge

One hour from Savannah. Exit 67 off I-95. 7 miles from US 17 on Harris Neck Road.

Things to see all year but main attraction in the Spring is one of the largest wading bird nesting site or “rookery” in the area on Woody Pond.

  • Habitat:  Salt marsh, tidal creek, woodland, fresh water ponds
  • Types of Birds: Songbirds, waterfowl, birds of prey, wading birds
  • Specialties: Wood stork, painted bunting
  • Winter – sparrows, wading birds, ducks, raptors
  • Spring – migrating song birds, wading bird rookery
  • Summer – nesting birds, including painted buntings, summer tanagers, yellow-throated warblers.
  • Fall – migrating song birds

Lake Mayer, Savannah GA

Intersection of Montgomery Crossroad and Sallie Mood Drive Suburban park and lake.

  • Habitat:  Suburban park and lake
  • Types of Birds: Songbirds, gulls, wading birds, waterfowl
  • Specialties:  Eastern bluebirds
All year – ospreys, gulls, anhingas, herons & egrets, bluebirds

  • Winter – ducks, including ruddy ducks, shovelers, ring-necked, shrikes, coots

 

Savannah National Wildlife Refuge

15 minutes from downtown Savannah.  The Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive, located on SC 170, is a four-mile loop trail that takes you through tidal fresh water wetlands that were formerly rice plantations.

Here you will find something to see year-round, including alligators!

  • Habitat:  Tidal fresh water wetlands that were formerly rice plantations
  • Types of Birds: Songbirds, wading birds, waterfowl, shorebirds, birds of prey, marsh birds
  • Specialties:  Least bitterns, purple gallinule, clapper rail, egrets, herons, ducks
  • Winter – ducks, raptors, sparrows
  • Spring – migrating songbirds, shorebirds, wading birds, nesting anhingas
  • Summer – least bitterns, purple gallinules, Mississippi & swallow-tailed kites
  • Fall – migrating songbirds

 

Savannah-Ogeechee Canal Museum & Nature Center

2.2. miles west of I-95 on GA 204. Boardwalks and trails through bottomland hardwood forest with cypress and tupelo trees.

  • Habitat:  Boardwalks and trails through bottomland hardwood forest with cypress and tupelo trees
  • Types of Birds: Birds of prey, songbirds, wading birds
  • Specialties: Prothonotary warbler, northern parula, Swainson’s warbler, wood duck, Mississippi kite, swallow-tailed kite
  • Spring – Migratory songbirds
  • Summer – Nesting birds including prothonary, Swainson’s and hooded warblers, acadian flycatchers, yellow-billed cuckoo

 

Skidaway Island State Park

Southside Savannah off Diamond Causeway. Maritime forest, salt marsh, fresh water pond, and tidal creeks.

  • Habitat:  Maritime forest, salt marsh, fresh water ponds, and tidal creeks
  • Types of Birds: Songbirds, shorebirds, wading birds, waterfowl
  • Specialties: Osprey, painted bunting, pileated woodpecker, bald eagle
All year – herons and egrets, bald eagles, ospreys

  • Winter – ducks, loons, grebes, marsh sparrows
  • Spring – migrating songbirds, wood storks, nesting herons & egrets
  • Summer – nesting birds, including painted bunting, bluebird, summer tanager, orchard oriole
  • Fall – migrating songbirds, sparrows

Tybee Island – North Beach

Access from Polk Street or Fort Screven. Sandy beach as well as dunes and wax myrtle.

  • Habitat:  Sandy beach as well as dunes and wax myrtle
  • Types of Birds: Shorebirds, gull-like birds
  • Specialties: Purple sandpiper, piping plover, northern gannets

 

All seasons – herons, egrets, pelicans, gulls

  • Winter – shorebirds, ducks, raptors, gannets, loons, piping plovers, purple sandpipers, kingfishers
  • Spring – migrating songbirds, including painted buntings
  • Summer – gulls, terns, black skimmers, wood storks
  • Fall – tree swallows, kingfishers

Don’t forget that the Ogeechee Audubon offers several field trips a month which are open to the public.  Just check our calendar for dates.

Wilderness Southeast sponsors a number of bird-watching programs as well.

Good Birding!