With Skilled Help, It’s ‘Nevermore’ to Ravens’ Roosts

Times Staff Writer

The birds flew away, finally, so the Registry Hotel took the opportunity Tuesday to say “nevermore” to the three giant ravens’ nests on its rooftop sign.

Rock climber Robert Nichols removed the nests, traversing from letter to letter on the 5-foot-high sign, then rappelling down the side of the 10-story Irvine hotel. Nichols used a ladder, though, to climb to the sign from the roof.

Nichols, who is also a professional photographer, offered to remove the nests--each about 2 1/2 feet in diameter--in return for the use of the hotel’s honeymoon suite after his wedding next month. He said he noticed the nests while driving by the hotel from his Irvine home to work. “Since I couldn’t afford the luxury of the Registry Hotel . . . I decided to proposition for a swap,” he said.

In return for his efforts, Nichols and his bride will have limousine service to and from the hotel and one night in a suite at “the very top . . . right where a climber belongs,” he said.


Nichols performed the same task for hotel two years ago, except it was only one nest then, and he was paid for his services.

The ravens checked into the Registry several months ago. They nested in the “R” and “Y” in “REGISTRY” and in the “E” of “HOTEL.” After their chicks hatched and learned to fly, the entire family took to the air, said Judy Lynes, who handles publicity for the hotel.

The birds were never a danger to hotel guests, she said. “Most people liked watching them,” she added. “They weren’t bothering anyone.”

But the empty nests were an eyesore. “The sign had branches sticking out of it,” Lynes said.


Then Nichols came along with his offer.

“It looked liked the hotel was going to the birds,” he said. “We have to let them ravens know who’s in charge, who’s the boss.”