Overview and Activities

Quick Look

Next Meeting: Monday 19th June - The Pennsylvania Amphibian and Reptile Survey
Next Bird Walk / Field Trip: Friday 26th May - 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.

Friday 26th May 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.

Thursday 1st June Field trip and bird count at State Game Lands #249. Meeting time is 7:30 AM at the Gameland’s entrance located on Game Lands Road (aka State Game Land Road depending on your map) off PA #234 about midway between Biglerville and US #15.

Tuesday, 6th June York Audubon: FIELD TRIP to Lake Redman Boardwalk to look for nesting songbirds. Leaders: Anne Muren and Robin Smith at racbooks@gmail.com. (Rain date is Thurs., June 8) Meet at the parking lot on Ironstone Hill Road at 8:30 A.M.

Saturday, 10th June Conococheague Audubon: FIELD TRIP, 7:00 AM. South Mountain/Caledonia/Michaux IBA for SPRING MIGRANTS. Eric and Rhetta Martin, 597-8675

Monday 19th June Pennsylvania Amphibian and Reptile Survey (PARS). Sue Muller, PARS coordinator for Adams County, will explain the purpose of this 10 year project (2013-2022) and will share information on how you can become involved as a citizen scientist by collecting important observations and photos in your backyard and/or throughout Pennsylvania.

Monday 14th August Annual Picnic at Kathy & Mike’s house

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

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.

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

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. 

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

Field trip to Photograph Exhibition and Shenk’s Wildflower Preserve

On the 8th April a field trip visited the Audubon Photography exhibit in Columbia, observed birds on the river, and then took a hike around Shenk’s Wildflower Preserve. Additional photos, plant & bird lists are available.

Photos by Linette Mansberger

Field trip to Oakside Park, Biglerville

On the 21st April a field trip visited the Oakside Park, Biglerville. 37 species were observed including a palm warbler and a blue-grey gnatcatcher.

International Migratory Bird Day

On the 14th May SMAS ran its usual bird walk near Spangler’s Spring. Special thanks goes to Don and Jen Gilbert who provided a lot of expertise during our walk and who also created the bird list. 58 species were observed including 2 species new to the list - Philadelphia Vireo and Veery.

Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve


On the 19th May SMAS visited Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve and observed 35 species including Kingfisher, Acadian Flycatcher, Yellow-throated Vireo, Redstart, Northern Parula, Blackpoll Warbler and Raven.

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.