The Delta flight, operated by regional carrier ASA, was on its way to Mobile, Ala., Thursday night when passengers said they heard a loud thud.
The pilot told passengers the plane would circle over northwest Georgia to burn off fuel before returning to Atlanta.
ASA spokeswoman Allison Baker says the 50-seat CRJ-100 hit what officials believe were two birds. Their species has not been determined.
Passenger Sarah Burch, the wife of the executive producer of WKRG-TV in Mobile, told the station she could see damage on the plane's nose and right wing after leaving the plane.