Ruth Bader Ginsbird and Sandra Day O’sprey Reign Supreme Over Oregon Law

Names in honor of two "notorious" Supreme Court justices overwhelmingly captured public votes

Jun 22, 2018

Eugene, Ore. – The votes have been tallied and the osprey chicks that hatched atop the Knight Law Center at the University of Oregon now have names. Inspired by their law school home, the chicks have been dubbed by popular vote "Ruth Bader Ginsbird" and "Sandra Day O'Sprey." Other popular names included “Onyx” and “Agate,” for the streets surrounding UO’s campus, and “Ash” and “Pre,” in honor of track and field superstars Ashton Eaton and Steve Prefontaine.

While they may have names, according to experts at the Cascades Raptor Center, osprey chicks do not typically have identifying marks. Even male and female birds are notoriously similar in size and markings. However, the larger chick is likely the first-hatched. For purposes of identification, the larger bird is Ruth Bader Ginsbird, as this name earned the most votes in the poll.

Until 2014, the osprey had nested on a light pole above historic Hayward Field. As legend has it, the nest was relocated to the roof of UO Law because one of the birds dropped a trout onto lane four of the track while runners were on it. Now, thanks to donations by friends and alumni in honor of recently retired Dean Margaret “Margie” Paris, osprey enthusiasts can watch the birds live online while the chicks develop, (https://law.uoregon.edu/explore/osprey).

The adult osprey pair returned to their annual nesting place April 3, 2018 and within 3 weeks, two eggs were laid. A third egg arrived in early May. According to Facebook follower Susan Fredericksen, Ruth Bader Ginsbird hatched between 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 2, 2018. The second chick, Sandra Day O’sprey, hatched between 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 3, 2018. A third chick hatched between 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 6, 2018, but it did not survive.

Written by Jeff Ehren and Laura McGinnis . Graphic design by K. Lovisa Hogstrom, graduating senior in the School of Journalism and Communication.