Overview and Activities

Quick Look

Regular meetings are cancelled until further notice. Bird Walks and Competitions are being organized. Please note varying beginning times and locations.

Next Bird Walk / Field Trip: Friday 25th September - a hike along Rock Creek to
McAllister’s Mill. Meet at 8 am.

Next Meeting: to be announced


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.

Bird Arrivals and Departures

The Fall 2020 competition has started. We are counting the first arrivals of Winter residents, last sightings of Summer residents, and continuing the competition of pass-thru migrant observations from the Spring. If you are interested in joining the competitions, or just want to better understand the state of the bird populations in Adams County, contact Mike Bertram at 717-352-7936.

The state of Adams County sightings can be found in the Arrivals and Departures page. The progress of migrations can be seen at eBird.org by going to the explore section and looking at the species’ recent sightings.

Friday 25th September Bird Walk
A hike along Rock Creek to McAllister’s Mill where Dean Shultz will give a short talk on the history of the mill. Meet at 1621 Baltimore Pk, Gettysburg at 8:00 am. From town it is the first driveway on the right after you cross over bridge at Rock Creek.

Friday 2nd October Bird Walk at Gameland #242 near Dillsburg. Meet at the parking area on Game Road at 8 am. The quickest way from Gettysburg is to take route 15 to Dillsburg, then take a right at the first light, got through the Dillsburg and then take a right onto Chestnut Street. Continue south for 5 miles on Chestnut Street (which changes into Old York Road) to Game Road on your left.

Saturday 10th October Big Sit at Linette’s house, and other locations.

Saturday 17th October, Bird walk in the Devil’s Den area starting at Ayres Avenue, Gettysburg NMP. 9 am start.

Saturday 31st October, Bird walk at Camp Michaux. 9 am start. Take Michaux Road off route 233.

Camp Michaux

Saturday 19th December, 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.

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.

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.  

Old Country Club, Gettysburg

On the 25th July SMAS walked the cart track at the Old Country Club, Gettysburg. 40 species were observed.

American Goldfinch

Wood Duck family
photos by Evan Vaeth

Big Spring Road

On the 22nd August 11 members walked along Big Spring Road in Newville. 53 species of bird were observed. They included Bald Eagle, Osprey, Wood Duck, and a large number of Cedar Waxwings.

Cedar Waxwing

Solitary Sandpiper
photos by Evan Vaeth and Linette Mansberger

Salisbury Farm

On the 2nd September 12 members walked through the Salisbury Farm. 21 species were observed on a wet day.

Rocky Ridge Hawk Watch

On the 19th of September the Society visited the Rocky Ridge Hawk Watch west of York. 27 species were observed

Red-tailed Hawk

photos by Linette Mansberger