Overview and Activities

Quick Look

Next Meeting: Monday 20th March - Ryan, the bug man
Next Bird Walk / Field Trip: Saturday 8th April - Columbia & Susquehanna River


Unless indicated otherwise, all SMAS Programs are held at the Adams County Agricultural Resource Center, 670 Old Harrisburg Road, Gettysburg, PA at 7:30 pm. A room number for the SMAS meeting will be posted on the front lobby entry inner door.

Bonnie Portzline is happy to give her presentation ‘Birds with a Gettysburg address’ to interested parties. The presentation is based on her wonderful photographs of local birds.

Saturday, 18th March Conococheague Audubon: FIELD TRIP, 7:30 AM. York County auto tour for WATERFOWL. Conway Bushey, 262-5659.

Monday 20th March, 7 p.m. This program is mostly a “show-n-tell” where Ryan Bridge “The BugMan” uses a large variety of REAL insects and arthropods, many of which are the largest species in the world. Harmless LIVE bugs are also used and the audience is encouraged to touch or pet the mini-beasts. Motivational and informative, this program inspires young minds to pursue and experience the incredible world of insects and teaches many basic principles of Entymology.

Thursday, 23rd March Conococheague Audubon: FILM - Hummingbirds: Magic in the air. (60 min.) At Chambersburg Area Middle School South. Pre-film entertainment at 7:00 PM.

Thursday, 23rd March York Audubon: Trip to Mary Ann Furnace Trail at Codorus State Park. Leader: Judy Morris 717-968-6998. Meet at the Visitors’ Center parking lot on Smith Station Road at 9:00 A.M. to carpool.

Saturday, 1st April Gettysburg National Historical Park: Volunteers Needed for Civil War Park Day. Volunteers are needed to cut brush and clear vegetation near Devil’s Den and Plum Run. This is a prime birding habitat that needs to be managed.

Registration is required and tools will be provided. To register email Matthew Gutt at Matthew_Gutt@nps.gov. Additional information is available online at: http://www.civilwar.org/aboutus/events/park-day/.

Saturday, 1sh April York Audubon: Annual York Audubon Society Banquet at East Berlin Area Community Center. Come early for silent auction, raffle and 50/50. Dinner served at 6:00 P.M. Guest speaker Gordon Dimmig presents “Into the Amazon”, featuring beautiful photos depicting what it was like to live and work with birds in the Amazon jungle for 10 weeks. Cost: $20 per person. Make checks payable to York Audubon Society. Mail to Barb Fisher, 81 Old Westminster Road, Hanover, PA 17331. Reservation deadline: Mar. 27, 2017. Barb’s phone # is 717-632-4926.

Saturday 8th April (Rain date of Wednesday, April 12) Field trip to the National Audubon Award-winning Nature Photographs Exhibit in Columbia.
Meet at the Burger King parking area on Rt. 30 east of Gettysburg at 8:30 am. We will carpool to Columbia, PA to see the National Audubon Award-Winning Nature Photographs Exhibit sponsored by York Audubon Society and Susquehanna Heritage.
This exhibit is displayed at Columbia Crossings Center next to the Susquehanna River in Columbia. The exhibit is free.
Depending on time and participants, we can check out the river for waterfowl, gulls and the Peregrines that have nested for years on the Rt. 462 bridge, go to Shenk’s Ferry, a bit downriver, to view native wildflowers and stop for lunch.
We should return to Gettysburg between 3 & 4.
Please inform Deb if you plan to attend this trip - 677-4830 or siefkend@embarqmail.com

Thursday, 13th April York Audubon: Trip to Safe Harbor Park. Leader: Carolyn Mathur 717-309-7899. Meet at the Galleria Mall parking lot near Boscov’s and Red Robin at 8:30 A.M. to carpool.

Friday 21st April Bird Walk at Oakside Park, Biglerville. Meet at the parking lot off route 394; time: tbd Any questions - contact Mike Bertram at mike@the2nomads.org.

Saturday 22nd April Hickory Bridge - annual luncheon. Speaker: Greg Goldman, the new Executive Director of Audubon PA. Details can be found in the flier.

Saturday 13th May Field trip and bird count at Spanglers Spring, Gettysburg NHP for International Migratory Bird Day

Monday 15th MayBirds of Honduras and their Shade Grown Coffee Habitat” by Laura Jackson, president of Juniata Valley Audubon Society.

Saturday 20th May SMAS will participate in the Green Gathering at the Adams County Agricultural Resource Center, 670 Old Harrisburg Road, Gettysburg

Tuesday 23rd May Bird Walk down Milesburn Road, Michaux State Forest. Joint event with York Audubon. Limited participation, let Mike Bertram know if you wish to attend. Meet at the Big Flat parking lot off Shippensburg Road. Time: tbd. Any questions - contact Mike Bertram at mike@the2nomads.org.

The South Mountain Audubon Society aims are to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity focusing on Adams County, PA.

The Society works towards those aims with meetings, birding trips, and conservation activities.

There are 2 Important Bird Areas locally:

The Society can be contacted in the following ways:

email: SMAS@southmountainaudubon.org

Tel.: 717-352-7936

Mail: SMAS, P.O. Box 3671, Gettysburg, PA 17325.

Click here to join National Audubon and the South Mountain Audubon Society. Please select U17 as the Chapter code from the drop down menu on the form.

If you only want to join the South Mountain Audubon Society only then sign up at the next event you attend. The annual membership is $15.

Field Trips

FIELD TRIPS - Field trips will be announced in the quarterly newsletters (when possible) and on this website.  Each field trip will list a contact person and a meeting place.  Please be sure to notify the  listed contact person of your planned attendance so that you can be alerted to any changes in the schedule or meeting place. 

2016 Bird Sightings

In 2016 201 species were recorded for Adams County (2015: 201 species), 173 for South Mountain Important Bird Area (2015: 176 species), and 171 for the South Adams County Grassland IBA (2015: 161 species). Among the rare species recorded were: Trumpeter Swan, Eared Grebe, Snow Bunting, and Golden-winged Warbler. Link to further details.

Snow Bunting by Bonnie Portzline

2016 Christmas Bird Count

On the 4th January 2017 (rescheduled date) South Mountain Audubon participated in the Audubon Christmas Bird Count for the 35th year. We saw 74 species and 9720 individuals. The following species were found that had not been seen in recent counts: Horned Grebe, Greater White-fronted Goose, Long-tailed Duck, and Double-crested Cormorant. The real shock was that one of the iconic birds of the area, the red-headed woodpecker, was not observed. Link to further details.

Greater White-Fronted Geese among Canada Geese, photo by Bonnie Portzline

Big Spring walk

Society members joined the Big Spring (Newville) First Saturday of the Month Walk on the 4th February. 47 species were seen. The full list is available at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/ checklist/S34213804

Photos by Linette Mansberger

Educational Activities

As part of the Society’s Educational Initiative this year a donation has been made to the Upper Adams School District for the purchase of bird books. Here are students enjoying the books.

Students1  Students2

Students3  Students4