There is a family of house sparrows nesting with the ospreys again this
year at Salt Point. My *Salt Point On Osprey Time* blog #11 (http://www.
address this, but it has not been posted yet as our web master is in

The fish-eating ospreys tolerate other species such as the sparrows, tree
swallows, starlings, and others to nest near them, usually under the
platform. It's probably some form of mutalism, but it has not been studied.
The smaller birds probably keep the nest cleaner with less ecoparasites for
the osprey to contend with. In exchange, the smaller bird get a sturdy
structure to build a nest on and the (passive) protection of the osprey
against predators.

I wish it had been a gnatcatcher. The house sparrows are ravishing the Salt
Point nest boxes, destroying the bluebird and tree swallow eggs that were
doing so well.


On Sun, Jun 8, 2014 at 7:50 AM, Karen Edelstein <> wrote:

> Last night, during our sunset walk at Salt Point in Lansing, Joe and I got
> some nice views of the osprey pair sharing a fish on the platform edge.
> When we were ready to leave (it was getting quite dark by then) one osprey
> was down incubating presumably while the other stayed alert on the perch
> (ha-ha... fish or pole or both). Some movement along the outside of the
> nest caught Joe's attention.  Although the light was terrible, I could see
> a long, twitching tail with a slight notch and very quick movements.  Blue
> gray gnatcatcher I'm guessing.  The little bird and the big osprey had to
> have been aware of each other but unbothered by each other's presence. The
> little bird worked its way around the edge and then into the nest itself
> before it got too dark to see anymore.
> What was going on? Gleaning bugs?  Anyone else seen this? Could it have
> been some species other than gnatcatcher?


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