Common Raven Nest

Common ravens (Corvus corax) usually build their nests on a ledge on a rocky cliff or high in a tall tree (especially conifers). These remarkably adaptable birds have learned to also build nests in and on human structures. With new material added each year on top of the old nest, the same nest may be used year after year, not necessarily by the same pair.

For the past several years common ravens raised a brood amid the rafters of a hay shed on our property near Lookout CA (Modoc County). Both sexes build the nest with the male bringing sticks, which the female arranges to her satisfaction. The nest is a bulky basket of large sticks and twigs with a deep depression in the center lined with mud, grasses, bark strips, moss and animal hair.

The common raven female lays and incubates 3 to 7 greenish eggs blotched with olive or brown. The male feeds the female during incubation. After 20 to 25 days the eggs hatch. Both parents bring food to the nestlings, who leave the nest 28 to 50 days after hatching.

The hay shed used by the common ravens is not near the house so Leonard and I are happy to have these intelligent birds raise their young nearby. They visit our yard and entertain us often.

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