provided by:

Priscilla Sokolowski

Eugene, OR

Photos from personal trips  AND trips with

“Birds of Oregon and General Science” (BOGS)


Bird photography

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History of BOGS -
compiled by Bill Butler and Debby Hite

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HOME page

The Early Years

compiled and written by Bill Butler; edited by Priscilla Sokolowski

Names and faces change and I thought it would be a good idea to put down the evolution of BOGS to the present date. BOGS stands for Birds of Oregon and General Science and that pretty much identifies the group because we hear lectures on science and are interested in birds. Some of the current BOGS members go clear back to the beginning in the early 1980s.

It all started as a class called, Birding for Seniors, offered through the Science Department of Lane Community College. This class was created and taught by Floyd Weitzel, who was an instructor of biology at the college. The first classes were held at the Kaufman Center in of 1982, and Rod Johnson was in the first class.

In of 1983 the classes were moved to the LCC campus and then in of 1986 to the Campbell Center in Eugene and the Willamalane Center in Springfield. Some classes were also held at the Lamb Cottage when the space was needed.

Floyd conducted regular birding classes at the Centers along with field trips using LCC buses. A small tuition fee was charged each Quarter and study materials were provided. These were very good classes on birds and bird identification. Floyd was a very good instructor and enjoyed working with seniors. Each quarter, there was a longer one or 2 night birding trip planned with a hired bus and class members paid bus fare and lodging. At the end of each quarter a potluck was held. Floyd was assisted by his wife, Anna.

Then in of 1992, LCC decided to halt the program due to financial constraints. In the summer of that year Floyd and Anna arranged a trip to Glacier Bay in Alaska and about 40 people, several still members of BOGS, attended.

With the demise of the LCC program, several people wanted to maintain the classes, so Edith Spitzer took over renting space from the Campbell Center and arranging for speakers on science and birds. She called the group Birds of Oregon and General Science. Much later, Harold Schyberg coined the BOGS name from the initials. Edith was assisted by Phyllis Earley and others.

The group met every Thursday for the speakers and the end of the term pot lucks continued along with quarterly overnight field trips using hired buses. Over the years, the group has visited many places including: Southern Washington, North Coastal California, California Central Valley, Malheur, Lakeview and South Texas. The longer, overnight trips were discontinued in recent years due to lack of participation.

Edith ran the program and arranged for speakers from the Fall of 1992 through the Spring of 1997.

Finding speakers and making all the arrangements is a big chore, even with the help of volunteers, and all of our leaders deserve much credit.

In the Fall of 1997, Phyllis Earley took over and ran the program until the Spring of 2001. During this period we started having speakers every other Thursday with Birding field trips on the alternate Thursdays.

Bill Butler and Bob Tews started leading these field trips [?from 2001?] and this continued through the Spring of 2007. Doris Wimber arranged all the longer bus trips. All of the local field trips are conducted using car pools driven by the members.

In the Fall term of 2001, Bea Herring took over for Phyllis Earley and ran the program through the Spring of 2003. The schedule remained the same, with speakers and field trips on alternate Thursdays and a pot luck at the end of each term.

In the Fall of 2003, Harold Schyberg took over for Bea Herring and ran the program through the Spring of 2007. As mentioned it is a difficult and time consuming job lining up good speakers and making sure that they show up for the meetings. After a while, you just run out of contacts. Added to this, there are membership losses due to age and infirmity. This is particularly the case on the bird walks where some of the older members can no long do the walking required.

Yvonne Parkinson, took over leadership of BOGS from the Fall of 2007 through Spring of 2008. She formed a volunteer coordinator committee and began advertizing the meetings in the Registered Guard. Participation increased for both the meetings and the day trips.

A $5 per term registration fee is charged for membership each Quarter. The money is used for speaker fees, supplies and Campbell Center rent. Members are also encouraged to donate a dollar or so at each meeting for the speaker honorariums.

Bill Butler and Steve Barron planned and led the birding day trips together [?from 2007?] up through the Spring of 2011.

Beginning in the Fall of 2011, Steve Barron took over and continues to lead the day trips on the second, fourth and fifth Thursdays of each month.

It must be mentioned that all of the BOGS leadership is by volunteers and it takes some organization even though the bulk of the work falls on the leader. In addition to those I have already mentioned, many other people have helped with the registration, potlucks and other chores. At the risk of leaving someone out, other people should be credited as follows:

Millie Houghton Registration and all around assistant up through Spring of 2012
Herb WisnerFor his many presentations and bird expertise, continues this ongoing into 2014
Roberta Fair For her all around help – up through 2012
Jean CoberlyFor her computer expertise up through 2011
Jim and Betty PitneyFor all their help
Doris WimberFor arranging trips, acting as treasure and general assistance
Joyce Churchill For meeting arrangements
All of the old time and new members For attending

I have tried to outline the history of BOGS as briefly as possible. All of us have memories of the meetings and birding trips and it is all a pleasant memory for me going back to 1988 or so. I am sure that everyone has their own recollection of the people in the organization, past and present.

I want to thank Rod Johnson, Phyllis Earley and Bob Tews for helping to recall all the dates involved.
Bill Butler, April 22, 2008

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Written by Debby Hite

As of April 3, 2014 BOGS continues to successfully operate as an informal “group or class,” every Thursday of each month during the Fall, Winter and Spring. Designated volunteers plan and coordinate the necessary processes so members and the community at large are able enjoy learning about birds and general science topics as well as participate in birding day trips. When Yvonne stepped down from leadership, Donna Albino arranged for speakers from theFall of 2008 through the Spring of 2012.

Beginning in Fall of 2008 and continuing at present, Debby Hite took on the role for organizing & leading the meetings, doing the Quarterly Schedule, being the point of contact with the volunteer coordinators & the Campbell Center.

Jody Fairchild took over the Registration Coordinator role starting in Fall of 2012; after a period where she assisted Millie Houghton to learn the procedures, so that Millie could step away from the role at the end of Spring term 2012.

Beginning with Summer of 2012and into the present, Doris Wimber and Debby took on the role of contacting & confirming speakers for the bi-monthly meetings. All BOG members assist with possible speakers for BOGS, and give the potential speaker contact information to Debby. This has worked well, and has been a tremendous help for finding good presenters.

In Spring of 2013, After seeing what Steve Barron could do with a Canon 'superzoom' camera, Priscilla Sokolowski bought one and began taking photographs on our bird walks; putting them online along with writing a short report about each trip. These were sent to interested members by email. The full collection of photo albums and reports were put on her website in Spring 2014 and she continues to update the site with photos and a report for each bird walk so that people can view both recent and past trips and albums.
Web pages having the term schedule (calendar) and the history of BOGS were added to the website in Fall 2014, as was a "recent updates" page announcing the next trip destination and next speaker/presentation and links to the most recent photo albums and reports.

Simple outlines of the various coordinator roles are being developed so tasks for new, future volunteers will have a better idea what is needed for them to be effective in their role.

A few addtional special people should be given credit for their contributions:
Rick Ehrens and Herb Wisner are greatly appreciated for their many presentations and bird expertise with our group.

If any person has been left out or a detail, date or event is inaccurate – or if you know more history about the BOGS group, please contact Debby Hite so this account can be edited. (Debby may be contacted through Priscilla at:
April 3, 2014.

The current list of volunteers (as of Oct 2, 2022), can be found here:
Current Volunteer List

These people continue to help ensure BOGS continues to be a great group/class in our community:

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Questions about BOGS? Contact:

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