Tower of London: Baby Ravens are Back!

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All four chicks are growing quickly, quadrupling in size from around 8 centimeters tall at birth to more than 30 centimeters last week (Courtesy of Ravenmaster Chris Skaife)

Health Editor’s Note: I have seen the ravens who live at the Tower of London and they are quite like no other.  They have really large heads and are treated like royalty…..Carol

Tower of London Welcomes Baby Ravens for the First Time in 30 Years

by Meilan Solly Smithsonian.com

According to popular lore, the fates of both the Tower of London and the wider British kingdom are intrinsically linked with the presence of at least six ravens in the palatial, 1,000-year-old fortress. As a royal decree reportedly issued by 17th-century King Charles II warned, if the birds ever flee their London home, “the Tower itself will crumble to dust and a great harm will befall the kingdom.”

Luckily, there appears to be little chance of this dystopian vision becoming reality anytime soon: The Tower maintains a population of at least seven ravens (the corvid equivalent of “heir plus a spare”), and last week, officials announced the birth of four healthy chicks—the first hatched at the London stronghold since 1989, when the Tower welcomed a baby named Ronald Raven.

The Telegraph’s Jack Hardy notes that Tower staffers installed a new aviary last year in response to concerns over the declining number of legal raven breeders in the United Kingdom. Typically, Tower ravens are bred elsewhere and then brought to London. Of the seven corvids currently housed in the Tower, five were born in Somerset, one was born in Surrey, and one was born in South Wales.

“We decided that it would be a really good idea to see if we could actually breed ravens ourselves at the Tower of London to secure our future,” Tower Ravenmaster Chris Skaife explains in a video posted on Twitter.

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