Overview and Activities

Quick Look

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: Saturday 22nd August - Big Spring Creek, Newville

Next Meeting: to be determined


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 Spring 2020 Arrivals competition ended in a triple tie, Bonnie Portzline, Deb Siefken, and Don Gilbert all saw 9 new migrants. The last of the winter residents competition was won by Deb Siefken, with 7 species. Linette Mansberger and Don Gilbert were runners-up.

A Backyard Bird competition will start at the beginning of June and run until the end of July. If you are interested in participating or just want to know what is going on contact Mike Bertram at 717-809-3911.

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.

Saturday 22nd August Bird Walk at Big Spring Creek, Newville

Bird walk at Big Spring Creek. Meet at 7:30 am at parking area at Springfield and Big Spring Creek roads near Newville.

Saturday 19th September Hawk Watch

Rocky Ridge County Park, York

Friday 25th September Bird Walk

Details to follow.

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.  

State Gamelands #249

On the 13th June 13 members walked in the State Gamelands #249. 54 species of bird were observed. It was a real vireo day, we observed White-eyed, Yellow-throated, Warbling, and Red-eyed Vireos.

Cedar Waxwing

Yellow Warbler
photos by Linette Mansberger

Mary Ann Furnace trails, Cordorus State Park

On the 11th of July the Society visited Codorus State Park and walked some of the Mary Ann Furnace trails. 50 species were observed including a Veery, White-eyed and Yellow-throated Vireos.

Common Yellowthroat

Indigo Bunting
photos by Evan Vaeth

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