I do not know. I first took notice last year when I heard House Sparrows in the oak where the Red-shouldered Hawk nest is out back. They would call from branches nearby the nest and seemed to be there all the time during nesting season. I took note mostly because I try to annoy and discourage non-natives, like the House Sparrow, from taking up residence near me or from using my feeders. Whether that is futile, necessary, effective, or whether non-natives should be eradicated or embraced, or something in between, is a topic for another day. These ponderings about the welcome-ness of House Sparrows had me take notice of them here. They were always high up around the hawk nest or on the same plane as it so as I could not reach them when trying to shoo them away.
These were mostly subconscious ponderings until I showed my students the latest live nest cams from Cornell, their Osprey nests.
The Dunrovin nest has House Sparrows singing and calling nearby and at times landing on a part of the nest. While watching in class, one sparrow landed for a few moments on a perch sticking out from the side of the nest. The Osprey did not show any concern that I observed or recognized. That is when my consciousness took over. I began to notice that while watching the Red-tailed Hawk nest Starlings would perch on a bar in the camera view of the nest.
I have poked around on line a bit and cannot find anything about this. I will keep looking. I am very curious of the adaptive value, if any, to hanging so close to a raptor nest. These raptors do not typically eat birds. Do the song birds know that? Is there a sense of “bravery” in these birds who predate on others nests? Do other song birds besides these two non-natives do this? Do these species do this in their native lands? Is this simply my reticular activator causing me to see this everywhere now that I have noticed? Sure, 3 nests is a small sample size, and there does seem to be something going on here. From New York to Montana to California, From Red-shouldered Hawk to Osprey to Red-tailed Hawk, House Sparrows and Starlings seem awfully comfortable being real close to raptor nests.