Sweet Soaring

Middle Georgia has such a high bird volume of bird species because there is a tremendous diversity of habitats, from coastal plain vegetation to forests of the piedmont, to flood plains and backwaters of the Ocmulgee River. Visitors to Byron, Georgia have only to venture out a few miles to see a variety of bird species and hear their sweet songs:

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Ocmulgee National Monument (20 miles northeast)

More than 172 species of birds have been documented using the forest, meadow, wetland, and riparian habitats at OCMU, including 36 species that are mostly associated with wetland or aquatic habitats. Wading birds are abundant at the park. Birders are likely to spot the Carolina wren, northern cardinal, tufted titmouse, red-bellied woodpecker, Carolina chickadee, American crow, white-eyed vireo, possibly even a European starling or house finch among the collection. Free admission.

1207 Emery Highway
Macon, GA 31217
(478) 752-8257

Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge (55 miles northeast)

This large wildlife refuge is one of the few sites on public lands where you can see the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. A self-guided wildlife drive and walking trails give you a good chance to see the woodpeckers as well as Bachman’s sparrow, blue-headed vireo, brown-headed nuthatch, cliff swallows, Eastern wood-peewee, Acadian flycatchers, great-crested flycatchers, wild turkey, prairie warbler, hooded warbler and Kentucky warblers. The Audubon Society has designated Piedmont NWR an Important Bird Area.

718 Juliette Road
Round Oak, GA 31038
(478) 986-5441

Wesleyan College Arboretum (20 miles northeast)

The arboretum comprises 104 acres of mixed pine and hardwood forest and lies within the boundaries of Wesleyan College's suburban Rivoli campus in Macon. More than 100 species of trees, shrubs and woody vines provide habitat for more than 150 species of resident and migratory birds and other wildlife. Free admission.

4760 Forsyth Road
Macon, GA 31210
(478) 757-5272

Lockerly Arboretum (47 miles northeast)

The Arboretum at Lockerly includes 50 acres of gardens, walking trails, and a pond. Plantings feature flowering shrubs such as camellias and azaleas, as well as hollies, perennials, annuals, a variety of trees including oaks and magnolias, and an extensive collection of conifers. Birds likely to be spotted at the arboretum include lack-and-white warblers, orchard oriole, yellow-billed cuckoos, ruby-throated hummingbirds, and Eastern bluebirds, among others.

1534 Irwinton Road
Milledgeville, GA 31061
(478) 452-2112