Overview and Activities

Quick Look

Next Meeting: Monday 17th September - Member’s Best Celebration of Nature
Next Bird Walk / Field Trip: Saturday 15th September - Oakside Park, Biglerville


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 Sept. 8: Conococheague Audubon field trip FALL MIGRANTS. Meet in parking lot of Scotland Exit 20, I-81 northbound, 7:30 am. Moderate walk of less than 0.5 mile in wet grass at Heisey Orchard, then bird by car in Michaux SF from Stillhouse Hollow to Fayetteville. Bring binoculars and snacks. Should end by noon. Bill Oyler, oylerbill@gmail.com or 717-360-5191.

Monday Sept. 10: Conococheague Audubon meeting Norlo Park Community Center 7 pm, The Golden-winged Warbler Post-Fledgling Period, by Cameron Fiss, Graduate Research Asst., IUP. Arranged by Bobbie Stewart.

Monday Sept. 10: President of York Audubon Society, Carolyn Mathur, pairs her birding and photography skills in her presentation titled “A Photographer’s Tour of Iceland”. Luther Memorial Church, 7:00 PM.

Saturday 15th September Bird Walk at Oakside Park, Biglerville. Meet at the parking lot off route 394; time: 8 am. Any questions - contact Mike Bertram on 717-809-3911

Monday 17th September, "Members' Best" Celebration of Nature Do you have a talent you would like to share with us?  Do you have a hobby or a collection that you would like to display?  Did you take any special photos this year that we could add to our slide show to be displayed that evening? 

21st to 23rd September: American Bird Expo at the Convention Center, Oaks, PA.

Saturday Sept. 22: Conococheague Audubon field trip HAWK WATCH at the Pulpit. Meet at Sunnyway Foods parking lot, 49 Warm Spring Road, Chambersburg at 7 am. George Barner, naturalist at Cowan’s Gap, will lead. Bring binoculars. Contact Debby Hook 717-372-0228.

Monday October 6 Conococheague Audubon Field Trip: End of FALL MIGRATION along Big Spring in Cumberland County. Meet at parking lot about 300 yards north of old fish hatchery near 844 Big Spring Rd., Newville at 7:30 am. Plan on a 3-mile walk. Bring water and snack. No restrooms. Linda and Bill Franz, 717-776-4463.

Saturday, October 13th York Audubon trip: Hawk watch at Rocky Ridge County Park. Meet at the hawk watch platform at 9 AM .Raptor guide Randy Phillips will be there. 9 AM—12 noon.

Monday 15th October ‘My Educational Tools - Nature & Travel’, presentation by Cindy Ross. Cindy Ross is the author of six published books on the outdoors as well as over 1,000 magazine articles. Her 7th book, The World is Our Classroom- How One Family Used Nature & Travel to Shape an Extraordinary Education is coming out September 1, 2018.

Saturday 20th October Bird Walk at Oakside Park, Biglerville. Meet at the parking lot off route 394; time: 8 am. Any questions - contact Mike Bertram on 717-809-3911

1st - 2nd November Trip to Hawk Mountain staying at Microtel in Hamburg for 1 night. We will travel up one morning, bird in the afternoon. Stay overnight and then bird the next morning and return home in the afternoon. The time we will visit Hawk Mountain is the peak period for Golden Eagle migration. Further details to be added. Any questions - contact Mike Bertram on 717-809-3911

Mon., Dec 10: York Audubon meeting Scott Weidensaul presents “A Galaxy of Falcons” Each year, what may be the largest gathering of raptors on the planet ~a million Amur falcons~ assembles in the remote mountains of N.E. India, a spectacle unknown to the outside world until a few years ago. Scott will discuss his 2017 expedition to Nagaland to document this stunning phenomenon, and the astonishing conservation saga that surrounds it. Luther Memorial Church, 7:00 P.M.

Home Schoolers

On the 23rd March the Society hosted a group of home schoolers at Caledonia State Park. Linette Mansberger gave a presentation on birds likely to be seen at bird feeders. The group then went outside and viewed the feeders around the visitor’s center.

Brown-headed Cowbird
Photographs by Linette Mansberger

Citizen Scientists Wanted!


The Pennsylvania Amphibian & Reptile Survey is looking for interested citizen scientists to participate in their survey in this area. Willingness to record and report amphibian and reptile observations is needed. The 2 websites listed below provide more information on the project, the opportunity to sign up, and links to help with identification of herps: PARS and Pennsylvania Herp Identification

For more additional information contact the Adams County coordinator Sue Muller. Her email address is: adams@paherpsurvey.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:

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.: 717-352-7936

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

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. 

Bird Arrivals and Departures

SMAS is developing a friendly competition to document the dates of bird arrivals and depatures in Adams County. Feedback is requested on the concept and a draft web page which documents the dates.

Global Big Day

On the 5th May South Mountain Audubon participated in the Global Big Day Bird Count. Don Gilbert led a walk around the Harrisburg Hospital site. We saw 64 species. The most surprising was seeing a flight of Common Loons overhead.
Northern Waterthrush
Hooded Warbler
Swainson’s Thrush
Photos by Linette Mansberger

Milesburn Road,
Michaux State Forest

On the 8th May South Mountain Audubon had a bird walk down Milesburn Road. 31 species were observed including a number of warblers.

Scarlet Tanager
Hooded Warbler

Black-throated Blue Warbler
Photos by Kathy King

Spangler’s Spring,
Gettysburg National Military Park

On International Migratory Bird Day, the 12th May, South Mountain Audubon had its usual bird walk at Spangler’s Spring. 68 species of birds were observed including many warblers.

Northern Parula
Cape May Warbler

Bay-breasted Warbler
Photos by Linette Mansberger

Field trips to Oakside Park, Biglerville

The monthly bird walks at Oakside Park, Biglerville continue (see left column). 23 species were observed in August includinga number of additions to the Park bird list. American Robin on nest
Broad-winged Hawk

Photos by Linette Manserberger