Overview and Activities

Quick Look

Next Bird Walk / Field Trip: 8 am Saturday, 27th April, Hashawha Environmental Center near Westminster, MD

Next Meeting: Monday 20th May, details forthcoming


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

There are still some late leavers and arrivals for the start of the winter but activity will now be slow until the start of the spring migration. You can join at any time. If you are interested in participating or just want to know what is going on contact Mike Bertram at 717-809-3911.

Local Bird Sightings in 2023

The high point of the year was the recently created beaver pond next to Devil's Den in Gettysburg NMP. The first sighting of a Lesser Bittern in Adams County was at the pond, as was the first breeding record of a Virginia Rail. Other notable sightings in the county were of a Golden Eagle, Orange-crowned Warbler, and Connecticut Warbler.

In the grasslands IBA we had the first records of an Eurasian Collared Dove and a Northern Saw-whet Owl.

The only notable sighting in the South Mountain IBA was a Herring Gull, the previous record was from 2016.

Meetings and other Activities

Bird Walk / Field Trip: Saturday, April 27th Hashawha Environmental Center near Westminster, MD

We will meet at 8:00 AM in the small parking lot on the right side of Rinehart Road. (Parking area map below) The address to use for a GPS would be 300 John Owings Rd, Westminster, MD.

This trail will cross a boardwalk on the lake and travel into the woods and along a stream valley. There will be very slight elevation gains. Hiking boots and insect repellent are recommended.

Carpooling is recommended if possible. We will direct you to overflow parking if the small parking lot is filled. Evan Vaeth will lead the walk.

Please check your email on Friday evening or Saturday morning in case of a weather-related cancellation. Questions? - text or call Linette at 717-495-8137.

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Saturday, May 4 (6:45 meet time in York Springs) – former Harrisburg State Hospital – Don Gilbert

Sunday, May 5 (7:00) – SGL 230 north of Carlisle – Tony Arnold

Saturday, May 11 (7:00-7:30 gathering time) – International Migratory Bird Day - Spangler’s Spring - Don Gilbert

Saturday, May 18 (8:00) - Plum Run Road – More information will follow.

Meeting, Monday, May 20th - details to be added.

Saturday, June 1 (8:00) - Devil's Den, Gettysburg NMP – More information will follow.

Meeting, Monday, June 17th - details to be added.

Annual Picnic, August - details to be added.

Saturday, September 21 Slyder Farm Loop at Gettysburg NMP – More information will follow.

Saturday, September 28 South Middleton Park – More information will 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: the2nomads@gmail.com

Tel.: 717-809-3911

Mail: SMAS, P.O. Box 3671, Gettysburg, PA 17325.

Educational Initiatives

South Mountain Audubon sponsors educational efforts on natural history in the local schools. In March it finacnced the purchase of books by the Montessori School.

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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 the2nomads@gmail.com 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.

Battlefield B & B

On Saturday, 24th February, SMAS hiked around the Battlefield Bed & Breakfast property. 30 species were observed.

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Juvenile Bald Eagles

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Swamp Sparrow

Photos by Linette Mansberger

Knorr Road

On the 16th March during a bird walk 37 species were observed on the Salisbury property at Knorr Road.

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Eastern Phoebe

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Hermit Thrush
Photos by Evan Vaeth

Archeology and Bird Walk

On Thursday, the 21st March, SMAS undertook an archeology and bird walk at Carbaugh Run. 11 species were observed.

Bird Walk

On Thursday, the 30th March, SMAS undertook a bird walk along the Taneytown Road, Gettysburg NMP. 46 species were observed.

Hanover Watershed

On the 14th of April South Mountain Audubon birded at Hanover Watershed WMA. 39 species were observed.

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Red-shouldered Hawk

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Hermit Thrush

Photos by Evan Vaeth