Overview and Activities

Quick Look

Next Meeting: Monday 15th October - My Educational Tools - Nature & Travel by Cindy Ross
Next Bird Walk / Field Trip: Tuesday 25th September - Gettysburg NMP


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.

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.

Tuesday 25th September, Bird Walk on the Battlefield, Gettysburg. Meet at 8am on Ayers Road. From Emmitsburg Rd./Business 15, take a left on Wheatfield Rd., right onto Ayers. Parking area is on the right in about 500 feet. Rain date 28th September. Any questions - call Deb 717 677-4830.

Monday October 6 Big Day Bird Walk in Harrisburg Hospital grounds. Meet in York Springs at 7:15 AM to carpool and will aim for a birding start of 8 AM in Harrisburg. Don Gilbert will lead a walk on some of the grounds of the former Harrisburg State Hospital and then, depending on time and weather, we may also visit Wildwood. Bring water and snacks. We will have a late lunch in a nearby deli. Please pre-register for this trip so we can plan accordingly. To pre-register, contact Linette at southmountainaudubon@gmail.com or call 717-495-8137.

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

Tuesday 13th November, Duck Drive in Adams County. Meet at 8:30 am at Winebrenner parking lot at the end of Howard Ave. at Gettysburg Rec Park; will carpool to Lake Heritage, Lake Kay and other lakes & ponds in Adams County for waterfowl. Questions - contact Deb at 717 677-4830,

Monday 19th November, Birds of Trinidad and Tobago presented by Martyn Kenefick, author of a soon to be updated book on the topic.

Tuesday 20th November, Bird Walk in Gettysburg NHP. Further details forthcoming.

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.

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 running a friendly competition to document the dates of bird arrivals and depatures in Adams County. Feedback is requested on the concept and a 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). 31 species were observed in September including a number of additions to the Park bird list. American Robin on nest
Broad-winged Hawk

Photos by Linette Manserberger