The first raven chicks in 30 years have arrived at the Tower of London.
The Raven babies have hatched at the tower. Following the arrival of breeding pair Huginn and Muninn at the end of last year, the four new arrivals began hatching on St George’s Day.
The Tower usually has six ravens at any time and, according to legend, if they ever leave both the fortress and the kingdom will fall. Ravenmaster Yeoman Warder Chris Skaife said he felt “like a proud father”.
It’s unclear how long ravens have lived at the Tower, although Charles II is said to have been the first to insist on at least six. There are currently seven based at the 1,000-year-old fortress, not including the new family.
The birds had quadrupled in size from around 8cm to more than 30cm in height since hatching on April 23, having been fed a diet of quail, mice, and rats. Because of the date the hatching began, one of the chicks remains at the Tower and will be named George or Georgina.
Facts about the Raven of the Tower. Following a Blue Peter competition in 1989, the first and last raven to be hatched and survive at the Tower was called Ronald Raven. Erin, Jubilee, Harris, Poppy, Gripp, Rocky, and Merlina are the current Tower birds.
The fortress’s oldest raven was born in 1884 and lived to the grand old age of 44. The birds’ constant presence at the Tower did not please everyone. Astronomer John Flamsteed claimed that they interfered with his work at the White Tower’s observatory (Tower of London).
Ravens were preserved at the Tower in the past by carefully cutting their feathers, but this procedure is no longer employed when practicable. Not all of the ravens from the Tower have stayed; one named Munin flew to Greenwich for seven days before being returned. Grog was last spotted outside an East End pub, while another named George was dismissed for eating TV aerials.
Tower of London Address: London EC3N 4AB, United Kingdom
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Official informatio – Visitheritage.co.uk