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Bird-Watching From Savannah Homes: 8 Feathered Friends to Spot (Plus the Binoculars and Camera You’ll Need)

There are so many things to love about Savannah—the history, the walkability, the arts and culture, the restaurants and entertainment, the shopping. But one aspect of the Hostess City that some don’t recognize until they arrive here is that it also serves as a haven for plenty of wildlife. And you don’t have to go to one of our reserves or nature parks to see them (although we do recommend you visit those, too). Let’s talk about bird-watching from Savannah homes! We’ll share a few of the feathered friends you can spot from your window, plus the gear to help you enjoy it to the fullest.

#1 Northern Cardinal

Photography by Suzie McCann

Photography by Suzie McCann

We had to list this brilliant beauty first, as it is a favorite of so many birders. A common sighting around Savannah homes and those throughout the East Coast, the Northern Cardinal is a wonder to behold. The male’s bright red plumage is breathtaking, especially amid the bare branches of winter. But the female too, with her creamy brown feathers and touches of red and orange, offers a lovely sight.

Keep this in mind: Cardinals are said to mark the visit of a deceased loved one watching over you. Each time you see one, you can take comfort in the idea that one or all of your lost family and friends are with you still.

#2 Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse Darlene Friedman

Photography by Darlene Friedman

This sprightly feathered friend is a pure delight to observe! With its big round eyes and lively crest, the Tufted Titmouse exudes energy. This is reflected in its behavior too, which is a big part of why we say they’re fun to watch. The Tufted Titmouse loves to come to feeders, grab one big piece of seed, pound it open with its bill, and begin again! Unlike other birds who might take a quick mouthful or sit at the feeder picking through smaller seeds, the Tufted Titmouse will fly back and forth for hours, giving you tons of opportunity to enjoy its movement and behaviors.

Some believe that the Tufted Titmouse represents a breakthrough incoming, so if you’ve been feeling stuck in any part of life, this little friend could be the perfect good omen!

#3 Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove Tyler Ficker

Photography by Tyler Ficker

It may not be the most colorful bird on this list, but the Mourning Dove is an absolute treasure to be viewed from Savannah homes, if you ask us. Their soft sounds have, for many, become synonymous with the most tranquil of spring and summer days. But beyond that, they are incredibly peaceful and calm in essence. Watching them from afar feels akin to witnessing a secret, and their larger size (for a backyard bird) makes them a fun sighting to share with children, too.

Mourning Doves are sometimes said to be a symbol of sorrow and mourning, but other times attached to peace, love, and faith. Take your pick!

#4 American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch Darren Clark

Photography by Darren Clark

Another vibrant-hued variety, the American Goldfinch is a fun one to spot. Its gorgeous, warm yellow plumage has made it a favorite to observe in the wild and capture for keeping over past centuries. We ask that you don’t go capturing any, but this is certainly a feathered friend to add to your “must-see” list.

Perhaps because the color yellow is often associated with optimism, the American Goldfinch is said to represent persistence and enthusiasm.

#5 Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Brian Kulvete

Photography by Brian Kulvete

Oh how special these buzzing pollinators are! Did you know they drink up to two times their body weight in a day?! And while they do most of this via native wildflowers, they do benefit greatly from the sweet nectar we place in our feeders. If you want to see these beauties more often, definitely consider hanging a feeder outside a prominent window you can watch from. Keep in mind that store-bought nectars with red coloring are not ideal, as the red dye is not a part of their natural diet and the red color isn’t necessary to attract them (a long-held myth!). Audubon has the perfect, simple and sweet recipe for you to follow! Alternatively, you could also take the route of planting some flowers they love to drink from—or do both!

While there are many different kinds, the hummingbird is generally said to possess the energy of healing and good luck!

#6 Red-Shouldered Hawks

Red-Shouldered Hawk Bob MacDonnell

Photography by Bob MacDonnell

If you’ve been thinking that you might be most interested in a bird of a larger variety, here’s a friend bound to become a favorite sighting for those with Savannah homes. Common in the area, Red-Shouldered Hawks are easy to spot because they often announce themselves with a seagull-like call! While it doesn’t sound exactly like a gull, their frequent vocalizations are quite similar. The sound is distinct enough that if you hear it once, you’ll start to notice it whenever they’re around.

They are known to be representative of a strong spiritual awareness.

#7 Wood Ducks

Wood Duck Ryan Schain

Photography by Ryan Schain

My how we adore these colorful, woodland wonders! Admittedly, this is one bird on our list that you might not spot from your Savannah homes. Well, unless you live along the Savannah River like we do, as they’re known to glide along those waters! Beloved for their mixture of different hues and tones, Wood Ducks are a fun sighting for everyone. Their larger size makes them easy for children to enjoy as well. Fun fact: They are one of only a few ducks that have claws on their feet, which enables them to perch in trees on occasion!

They are often said to represent clarity, grace, vigilance, and self-expression—quite the versatile darlings!

#8 Barred Owl

Barred Owl Blair Dudeck

Photography by Blair Dudeck

“Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?” Such is the sound of a call many a bird enthusiast experiences a thrill to hear. The Barred Owl is a birder’s favorite perhaps because they are easier to spot than many other owls. Preferring to roost in pine trees, they like to come back to the same places over and over again, often only changing their perch by a few branches from one nesting season to the next. That means that when Barred Owl couples nest outside Savannah homes, they will often become a regular fixture for many years!

The Barred Owl’s bar-like markings are said to represent protection and personal boundaries, making these beauties a wonderful symbol to carry with you.

Best Binoculars and Cameras for Bird-Watching From Savannah Homes

The honest truth is that binoculars and cameras are much like shoes—the perfect ones for you might be those which others hate! That makes it difficult to recommend them with total certainty. This is especially true given the fact that most of the front runners have about the same level of quality between them. That said, Nikon’s Monarch Nature binocular is often a favorite among birders, as is the brand’s Coolpix P1000 camera.

If you want to explore more of the options, World Birds has two helpful articles:

12 Best Binoculars for Birding (2022)

12 Best Cameras for Bird Photography (2022)

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed exploring the bird-watching opportunities available from Savannah homes! We love so much about our city, but the nature surrounding it is definitely in the top five for us!

Spot a lovely feathered friend we mentioned? Share it on social media and use the hashtag #BirdsOfUpperEastRiver!

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