Nesting habitat of common ravens in Virginia
Common Ravens in Virginia were primarily cliff nesters. The major factors apparent in selection of a nest site were cliff profile, determined by a suitable ledge with an overhang above and steep rock face below, and the distance to other active raven nests, the closest 2.2 km and the average 4.3 km. Nest cliffs averaged 19.7 m in height. No significant difference was found between heights of successful and unsuccessful sites. Nest cliffs close to human activity were not taller than those in remote areas. Observed proximity of roads and dwellings to nests had no significant effect on nest productivity. Nest sites were found between 335-1130 m above sea level, with 44% below 580 m. Successful nests below 580 m fledged a mean of 3.08 young compared to 2.37 at higher elevations. Starvation of nestlings, due to a loss of feeding efficiency in adults nesting at higher elevations, was suspected.