Common ravens had not nested in Ohio for more than 100 years. Large-scale habitat changes such as loss of mature forests from development drove the large, glossy-feathered birds to wilder, less developed portions of their ranges. By 1900, ravens no longer could be found in the Buckeye State.
This fascinating member of the crow family has been reclaiming former breeding grounds in recent years, as forests in Ohio and elsewhere have expanded, becoming better raven habitat. Forested land in Ohio has grown from 15 percent in 1940 to more than 30 percent today. Other long-absent species have found the state’s improving habitat a reason to come home, including bobcat and black bear.