Overview and Activities

Quick Look

Next Meeting: Monday 18th September - Drones & Birds presentation by Andy Wilson
Next Bird Walk / Field Trip: Friday 13th October - Oakside Park


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.

Monday 18th September Drones and Birds – how Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are changing Ornithology by Andy Wilson. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, better known as drones, are a rapidly emerging technology that will impact many aspects of our lives in the near future. I will provide a brief overview of the many applications of drones in the study of birds. I will report on an innovative study conducted by Gettysburg Students to test the feasibility of using drones to count songbirds, and I hope to convince you that this isn’t as silly a proposition as it sounds!

Monday, 23rd September, York Audubon. FIELD TRIP. Welcome Autumn with a field trip to Chestnut Grove Natural Area in Lancaster County.

Saturday, 23rd September, Conococheague Audubon. FIELD TRIP. Late migrating and resident birds

Saturday, 30th September, Conococheague Audubon. FIELD TRIP. End of Fall Migration along Big Spring.

Monday, 9th October, Conococheague Audubon. MEETING. Wildlife in our backyard - presentation by Laura Jackson

Monday, 9th October, York Audubon. MEETING. One Year Banding Raptors by Tom Humphrey.

Friday 13th October Bird Walk at Oakside Park, Biglerville. Meet at the parking lot off route 394; time: 8 am. Any questions - contact Mike Bertram at mike@the2nomads.org.

Monday 16th October The status of the Ruffed Grouse and other ground-nesting birds by Lisa Williams, Game Commission.
Photo by Cheryl Miller.

Friday 20th October Bird Walk along Gilbert Road, Michaux State Forest. Meet at the Mike & Kathy’s house on Shippensburg Road; time: 8 am. Any questions - contact Mike Bertram at mike@the2nomads.org.

26th - 28th October Visit to Audubon and Tinicum (John Heinz NWR) near Philadelphia. Any questions - contact Mike Bertram at mike@the2nomads.org.

Monday, 13th November, York Audubon. MEETING. Tanzanian Safari by Linette Mansberger.

Saturday 16th December Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count.

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:

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. 

Milesburn Road, Michaux State Forest

On the 23rd May SMAS, in conjunction with York Audubon walked down Milesburn Road in Michaux State Forest. It was difficult birding in the heavy vegetation but we observed 20 species including Ovenbird, Scarlet Tanager, and Black and White, Black-throated Blue, Yellow-rumped, and Hooded Warblers.

Field trips to Oakside Park, Biglerville

On the 26th May and 23rd June field trips visited the Oakside Park, Biglerville. 32 species were observed on both trips including a blackpoll warbler and a blue-grey gnatcatcher. On the 21st July the monthly walk provided the first sighting of a red-headed woodpecker. A bird list for the Park is available.

Field trip to State Gamelands #249

On the 1st June the Society visited Gamelands #249 for our annual field trip. 34 species were observed including Yellow Warblers, Willow Flycatchers, and a Yellow-billed Cuckoo.

Kayaking trip to Gifford Pinchot State Park

On the 30th June a group of Society members paddled around part of Gifford Pinchot lake. 30 species were observed including the following: a family of Wood Ducks and an Osprey.

Photos by Linette Mansberger

Kayaking trip to Conejohela Flats

On the 9th August a group of Society members visited Conejohela Flats on the Susquehanna River by kayak. 34 species were observed including the Semipalmated, Spotted, Least, and Pectoral Sandpipers. The surprise sighting was of a Yellow-headed Blackbird.

Photos by Kathy King