Georgians get ready for the annual winter bird migration

ATLANTA — The annual arrival of birds flying south for the winter is something many Georgians anticipate.

Alyssa Greenhouse looks forward to seeing the birds in midtown.

“Besides my dog pulling to get to them, I think it’s really nice. It’s nature and brings a little beauty back to the city,” Greenhouse said.

Melody Modarressi said she doesn’t mind seeing all of the birds but what they leave behind is a bit frustrating.

“Bird poop on my car...and so we have open parking it’s not covered at all and so it hasn’t been an issue until pretty recently,” Modarressi said. “Sometimes I just hear them and don’t see them but sometimes they’ll be close enough. I’ll see them especially now that all of the leaves are gone. I’ll see them hanging out above our cars.”


Adam Beteul, director of conservation for Georgia Audubon, says ducks, geese, sparrows and finches fly down for winter.

The pine siskin is most popular but their visits vary season to season.

“One year you might have tons and tons of these birds at your feeder, which is what we’re experiencing this year and next year you might have zero,” Beteul said.

These birds are typically found way up in Canada. They can handle cold winters and often stay there.

The food source they rely on is a boom or bust crop. When food is plentiful the birds stay. Otherwise, they fly south where they can find food.

Pine siskins enjoy nyjer or small seeds. Purple finches like sunflower seeds.

These birds should stay in Georgia through late March before heading back north.

If you would like to catch a glimpse of our northern visitors, make sure your bird feeder is filled. You will likely hear the songbirds in your yard.