Overview and Activities

Quick Look

Next Meeting: Monday 14th August - Annual Picnic at Mike & Kathy’s house
Next Bird Walk / Field Trip: Friday 11th August - 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 11th August 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.

Saturday 12th August Bonnie Portzline will be giving a talk ‘Birds With A Gettysburg Address: Four Seasons of Monumental Sightings,’ for the NPS campfire programs at the Gettysburg National Military Park amphitheater; 8:30 pm. Bobolink and Dickcissel photos by Bonnie Portzline:

Monday 14th August Annual Picnic at Kathy & Mike’s house (wildlife viewings not guaranteed)

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.

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. 

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.

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. 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