Monday, April 25, 2016
While on a whirlwind birding tour of central Ohio on April 16, Bernie Master and I stopped by Scioto Audubon Metro Park just south of downtown Columbus. We spent a few minutes admiring the Ospreys, which are nesting atop a light pole, just as conspicuous as could be. While making photos of the birds, I noticed something odd and unusual - House Sparrows were apparently nesting within the Osprey nest!
I resolved to return when time was more plentiful and document this excellent case of commensalism (relationship between two organisms, where one benefits and the other is unaffected). That day was last Saturday, in the perfect light of late afternoon.
If you are looking for a great place to practice in-flight photography on an easy, relatively slow moving subject, this is your chance. Plus, Ospreys are just cool to watch.
While House Sparrows have been recorded nesting within large raptor stick nests before - even Bald Eagles! - it is still cool to see firsthand. And thoroughly document with photos.
I really was wishing that she'd gotten her opening and darted up and into the sparrow nest. I'd have loved to have made photos of that! But House Sparrows are quite protective of their nests and the cowbird never got an opening, at least while I was there.