Ravens Spotted Nesting in DC for First Time in 100 Years | NBC4 Washington

Ravens Spotted Nesting in DC for First Time in 100 Years

The presence of the birds is an indication of the health of the area

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    NEWSLETTERS

    News4's Mark Segraves spoke with a biologist who spotted a raven's nest in D.C. It's believed to be the first time the birds have nested in the District in 100 years. (Published Monday, March 14, 2016)

    Ravens had not been seen nesting in Washington for more than 100 years — until now.

    Two of the majestic birds were spotted nesting along the Potomac River, according to the D.C. Department of Energy & Environment. The department has tracked about 240 bird species in D.C., finding nesting bald eagles last year, and nesting ravens last week, fisheries and wildlife biologist Dan Rauch said.

    "We didn't have eagles breeding in the district for 50 years, and when it comes to common ravens, it's over 100, so these are two big milestones just in the last few years," he said.

    The male and female ravens are nesting under a bridge. The female is doing the incubating, and he's the lookout and provider.

    The presence of the birds is an indication of the health of the area, Rauch said.

    "It's a good barometer for environmental health. It's also a good barometer for those species in general," he said.

    While Rauch and other environmentalists are excited about the discovery, they want to keep it a bit of a secret to protect the birds. News4 agreed not to disclose the exact location of the nest.

    "They need that space because it is a critical time while she's incubating those eggs and just after they hatch as well," Rauch said.

    The ravens could have as many as seven eggs in the nest. The baby ravens are expected to be born in early April.