Overview and Activities

Quick Look

Next Meeting: Monday 16th March - Mexico - Monarchs and Birds
Next Bird Walk / Field Trip: Thursday 5th March - trip to Middle Creek


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 (refreshments at 7 pm). A room number for the SMAS meeting will be posted on the front lobby entry inner door.

Bonnie Portzline (profile - courtesy of The Gettysburg Times) 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.

Thursday 5th March, Trip to Middle Creek. Car pool from Gettysburg at 7:30 am.

Saturday 14th March, Woodcocks at the Siefken residence

Monday 16th March, Presentation on Mexico - Monarchs and Birds by Laura Jackson

Saturday 21st March, Bird walk at Renfrew Museum and Park, Waynesboro, starting at 7:30 am. Car pool from Gettysburg at 6:45 am.

Saturday 4th April, Annual Lunch at Hickory Bridge

Saturday 11th April, Bird Walk at Gettysburg NMP. Meet at Ayres Avenue.

Wednesday - Thursday, 15th - 16th April, Visit to Mt. Cuba Center, Hockessin, Delaware, near Wilmington.

Saturday 25th April, Earth Day celebration - Bird walk at Oakside Park, Biglerville. Start at 8 am.

Saturday 2nd May, Global Big Day - Morgan Run, MD. Details to follow.

Friday 8th - Sunday 10th May Festival of Birds at Presque Isle. See Presque Isle Audubon.

Saturday 9th May, International Migratory Bird Day - Spangler’s Spring, Gettysburg NMHP. Meet at 7:30am.

Thursday 14th May, Bird walk, Michaux State Forest. Details to follow.

Monday 18th May, Society Meeting.

Thursday 21st May, Bird walk, Adams County Grasslands. Details to follow.

Friday 29th May, Bird walk, Strawberry Hill. Start at 8 am

Saturday 13th June, Bird walk, State Gamelands, Heidlersburg. Start at 7:30 am.

Monday 15th June, Society Meeting. Kristi Allen Kristi Allen will talk about the Pennsylvania Plant Conservation Network and other DCNR initiatives.

Saturday 27th June, Bird walk at Oakside Park, Biglerville. Start at 8 am.

Wednesday/Thursday 15 - 16 July, Birding at Canoe Creek State Park, near Altoona.

Saturday 25th July, Bird walk at Willoughby Run, Gettysburg. Start at 7:30 am.

Monday 3rd August, Annual Picnic (tentative date)

Saturday 19th September, birding at the Hawk Watch, Rocky Ridge State Park, near York. Start at 10 am. Car pool from Gettysburg 8:30 am.

Monday 21st September, Society Meeting, Presentation on Birds and the Mayans by Rob Fergus.

Friday 25th September, Bird walk at Water Street, Fairfield. Start at 8 am.

Saturday 10th October , Big Sit (weather permitting)

Thursday - Saturday 15 - 17 October , trip to Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey

Monday 19th October, Society Meeting.

Thursday 5th October, Birding at Chestnut Grove Natural Area. Leave Gettysburg at 7:30 am.

Monday 16th November, Society Meeting.

Saturday 21st November, Bird walk at Oakside Park, Biglerville. Start at 8 am.

Thursday 3rd December, Watch Bald Eagles (and Photographers) at the Conowingo Dam. Leave Gettysburg at 7:30 am.

Saturday 19th November, Christmas Bird Count.

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:

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.

The Society can be contacted in the following ways:

email: SMAS@southmountainaudubon.org

Tel.: 717-809-3911

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

Field Trips

FIELD TRIPS - Field trips will be planned on an annual basis and a tentative list will be sent in late December to those on our email list. Details for day trips will be announced in the monthly email blasts, and details for overnight trips will be announced a few months in advance. Also, information can be found on this website. Each monthly email will list a contact person and a meeting place and time for the upcoming events. If you are not on our email list, you can contact Mike Bertram at mike@the2nomads.org or call 717-809-3911 (please leave a voicemail) if you have questions or need other details. Field trip cancellations will be announced by email as soon as possible and also on this website.  

Christmas Bird Count

On the 14th December the Society ran its 38th consecutive Christmas Bird Count (and National Audubon’s 120th count). The weather was not good but we had a total of 73 species, which is well within the range for good weather, and 5759 birds were counted (a little lower than the normal range). The count numbers are dominated by Starlings, Mourning Doves, and Canada Geese.

39 Cedar Waxwings

photo by Linette Mansberger

Battlefield Walk

On the 1st of February the Society had a winter’s walk in the Battlefield. 11 species were observed including Red-headed Woodpeckers

photo by Linette Mansberger

Great Backyard Bird Count

On the 15th February 40 attendees braved the winter cold for a walk at the Old Country Club, Gettysburg. 23 species were observed and were reported as part of the Greater Backyard Bird Count.

photo by Ralph Siefken

Local Bird Sightings in 2019

There were a number of new and rare species recorded in the area in 2019, although they have been previously recorded in adjacent areas:

South Adams Grasslands Important Bird Area (covering part of Adams County) -

New sightings for area: White-winged Scoter, Common Gallinule, Little Blue Heron, Cattle Egret, American Avocet, Short-billed Dowitcher, Whimbrel, Barn Owl, Prothonotary Warbler.

Rare birds: Surf Scoter, Yellow-throated Warbler, Common Redpoll.

South Mountain Important Bird Area (covering parts of Adams, Franklin, and Cumberland Counties)

New sightings: Red-necked Grebe, Golden Eagle, Greater Yellowlegs, Peregrine Falcon.

Rare Birds: Redhead.

Adams County (excluding sightings in the IBAs already noted)

Rare birds: Rough-legged Hawk, Semi-palmated Plover, Cerulean Warbler

Further details including lists of all the bird sighted can be found on the Bird Lists page. See map for the definition of the IBA areas.