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Common Ravens Repairing & Building Nests

2-24-14 common raven IMG_2002Common Ravens have begun tending to their nests – one was seen snapping dead branches off of a Black Locust tree in Vermont last week. Often ravens will use the same nest for many years, renovating and repairing it every year. They typically nest on or in cliffs and trees (although abandoned cars, a satellite dish and a barbecue grill have been used), with the female doing the lion’s share of the construction. (The male assists her by bringing sticks to the nest site.) The base of the nest consists of sticks up to three feet long with smaller branches being woven into a cup lined with softer material such as sheep’s wool, fur and shredded bark. The finished nest is two to three feet across and up to four feet deep.

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7 responses

  1. What a beauty! I’m so delighted by the increased raven activity in my neck of the woods in recent years!

    March 4, 2014 at 2:17 pm

  2. I’ve noticed a lot more calling and territorial disputes lately. Even if it doesn’t FEEL like spring is near, the birds tell us otherwise. Could you do a post showing the differences between crows and ravens?

    March 4, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    • Hi Eliza,
      I think everyone has had difficulty telling the two species apart…the most dependable way I have found is if they are vocalizing — the calls of ravens are much more guttural. There are subtle physical differences as well, but they are harder to discern when the bird is flying at a distance…things like the raven’s bill is proportionately larger than the crow’s, its tail, when spread out a little, is wedge-shaped, and the wing primaries are often spread apart more when a raven’s in flight as opposed to when a crow is. There’s a great comparison chart at http://www.allaboutbirds.org/page.aspx?pid=2501. Hope this helps!

      March 5, 2014 at 1:08 pm

      • Thanks so much!

        March 5, 2014 at 1:11 pm

      • dellwvt

        Great link! I love being able to listen to their calls and compare. Thanks!

        March 5, 2014 at 1:29 pm

  3. dellwvt

    Yes – the difference between crows and ravens was just what I was going to request!

    March 4, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    • If you look at my answer to Eliza’s comment, you’ll hopefully find the information you’re looking for!

      March 5, 2014 at 1:08 pm

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