Hotspots


Below are some of the best spots in the Atlanta Area to go birding. A link to the Google Maps view of each is included as well as a link to the hotspot information on eBird. If you have any more hotspots you think should be included on this page, please feel free to comment at the bottom.

Cochran Shoals Unit of the Chattahoochee River
Sandy Springs, Fulton County
The Spot: Cochran Shoals is a pleasant place to take a walk, ride a bike or go birding. Located in Fulton County just outside of the Perimeter, this area features a wide gravel walking trail bordered by the Chattahoochee River and surrounded by riparian forest. The 3-4 mile trail features multiple overlooks into the river, a boardwalk into a swampy area, and multiple side trails, including one that ventures into a marsh habitat. Remember that parking is $3 if you do not have a year pass.
What's Hot: This location is great for warblers, vireos, tanagers, thrushes and flycatchers in spring and fall migration but can be good during other times of the year. Prothonotary Warblers, Orchard Orioles, Indigo Buntings and Yellow-crowned Night-Herons are examples of some birds that can be found in the summer. It can also harbor a few species of waterfowl as well as White-throated, Swamp and Fox Sparrows; Brown Creepers; Rusty Blackbirds and Winter Wrens in winter. Hairy Woodpecker can be found year round. 

Cochran Shoals


Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
Kennessaw, Cobb County
The Spot: Kennesaw Mountain not only has a rich history, but is also considered one of the best birding locations in Georgia. You can choose to park in the main lot, or if that lot is full (which it often is), you can turn left onto Old Highway 41 and take a short drive to the overflow parking lot which should be your first left after turning onto Old Highway 41. The field to the right of the parking lot (if you are facing the visitor's center from the parking lot) should be checked out first before heading up the asphalt road that winds up the mountain for a 3-3.5 mile round trip walk through hardwood forest. 
What's Hot: Kennesaw Mountain is famed for being the best warbler hotspot in the state of Georgia. As such, the best time to go is during migration (spring in particular) to find multitudes of warblers, vireos, tanagers, thrushes, flycatchers and grosbeaks. 

Kennesaw Mountain


Bartow County Birding Loop
Cartersville/Euharlee, Bartow County
The Spot: This "birding loop" actually comprises multiple locations, each within 10 minutes of each other. The four best locations are Sam Smith Park, Etowah Indian Mounds Sod Farm, Brandon Farm and Taff Roads and Hardin Bridge Road. If you choose to go, PLEASE stay on the main roads and do not venture into any of the sod farms. The owners are very nice to let us birders enjoy the birds from the small asphalt highways, but do not want ANY birders venturing into the fields or small dirt roads without permission. At Sam Smith Park, parking is available at at the aquatic center. Bird around the parking lot first and then walk down the small gravel/dirt road to the left of the visitor's center that extends from the parking lot. At the other three locations, pull to the side of the highway and bird from the perimeter only. 
What's Hot: These spots are superb during the breeding season for Field and Grasshopper Sparrows, Dickcissel, Eastern Meadowlark, Indigo Bunting, Blue Grosbeak, Horned Lark, Northern Bobwhite and recently, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. They are also fantastic for shorebirds during early migration, especially the ponds off of Brandon Farm and Taff Roads. 

Sam Smith Park

Etowah Indian Mounds Sod Farm

Brandon Farm and Taff Roads

Hardin Bridge Road


Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve
Decatur, DeKalb County
The Spot: Clyde Shepherd is a 28 acre preserve in a nice neighborhood in southern DeKalb County. Parking is available along Pine Bluff Drive near the entrance to the preserve. You can walk the multiple trails that Clyde Shepherd contain that include boardwalk sections, overlooks into the pond, and trails through mystical forest. Bug spray is probably a good idea, especially during a hot summer day.
What's Hot: The preserve is a good place to check during migration for things like warblers and shorebirds even though it is not a major spot for that. In winter, Winter Wren; Fox, Swamp and White-throated Sparrows; and both kinglets can be found. Summer can bring birds like Yellow-crowned Night-Heron and Green Heron. Wood Ducks can be found year-round on the pond. 

Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve

Henderson Park
Tucker, DeKalb County
The Spot: Henderson Park is a beautiful place to go birding on various trails and around a small lake. A warning - some portions of the trails around the lake can get muddy. The trails are fairly wide and made of dirt. 
What's Hot: The best time to visit Henderson is during migration for warblers, thrushes, tanagers, vireos and flycatchers. In recent years, Connecticut Warblers have been seen regularly in the park, a bird that is generally uncommon. 

Henderson Park


George Pierce Park
Suwanee, Gwinett County
The Spot: George Pierce Park is a relatively large park with a senior center and multiple ponds and trails. The best trail is located at the end of the main road (George Pierce Park Road) past the senior center. You can turn onto the main road from Buford Highway. There are multiple parking lots available for free depending on which trail you wish to walk. The trail at the end of the park is part asphalt, part boardwalk through a beautiful pond/wetland area.
What's Hot: This park is good during migration for warbler species and has quite a bit of potential. The pond can also draw some waterfowl species in winter such as American Wigeon, American Black Duck, Gadwall, Hooded Merganser, both teal, Northern Shoveler and Ring-necked Duck. 

George Pierce Park

Noonday Creek Trail
Kennesaw, Cobb County
The Spot: Noonday Creek Trail runs along Noonday Creek for part of its length and along the road for the other part. This area contains riparian forest and wetland habitats. The walk is short on a paved trail. You can park in the KFC parking lot off of Cobb Parkway. 
What's Hot: The stand of dead trees to the left of the trail at the start is great woodpecker habitat and the forest has potential for warblers, thrushes and flycatchers in migration so it could be good to do a quick check after visiting Kennesaw Mountain considering the trail's close proximity to the mountain. 

Noonday Creek Trail

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