THE TOWER OF LONDON RAVENS
It is not known when the ravens first came to the Tower of London, but their presence there is surrounded by myth and legend.
Legend says, that six ravens must be present at the Tower of London at all times, otherwise the kingdom and the tower will fall.
Because of this, to this day, you will always find six ravens going about their business in the Tower's grounds.
During the 17th century the Royal Observatory was situated at the Tower, and the story goes that the ravens were causing so much mischief that they were disrupting the observations.
King Charles II was very superstitious, and so fearing the legend's warning, he decreed that the ravens should stay, and that the observatory would have to move elsewhere.
The observatory was packed up, and transported to Greenwich.
The current Ravens in residence are, Jubilee, Harris, Gripp, Rocky, Erin, Poppy and Georgie.
Branwen and Edgar bring the total to nine.
Merlina, known for being the Queen of the Tower Ravens flew off to roam in 2021, but never returned - it is now feared she had died.
These are lovingly cared for, by Ravenmaster Chris Skaife, a Yeoman Warder or Beefeater as they are also known.
The Ravens lodgings are to be found next to the Wakefield Tower.
The ravens consume 6oz. of raw meat and bird formula biscuits soaked in blood each day.
They are very partial to an egg each once a week, plus the occasional rabbit which is given to them whole as the fur is good for them!
They also enjoy scraps from the kitchen at the Tower they particularly like fried bread!
To prevent the birds flying away, one of their wings is clipped by the Ravenmaster.
This does not hurt the raven nor does it harm them in any way.
By unbalancing their flight it ensures that they dont stray too far from the Tower.
All the Tower ravens are able to fly but, with careful feather management, plenty of food and a comfortable new enclosure, they are happy to call the Tower their home.
Despite the wing clipping, there have been occasional escapes.
One such escapee, was was Grog, who was last seen outside an East End pub called the Rose and Punchbowl in 1981.
Grog had been at the Tower for 21 years!
Muninn flew off to Greenwich, and was eventually returned by a vigilant member of the public after seven days.
Occasionally ravens have to be dismissed for bad behaviour.
This happened to George who received his marching orders in 1986 after he developed an unhealthy taste for TV aerials!
Ravens can live to a very ripe age.
The oldest raven to live at the Tower was called Jim Crow, who died at the age of 44.
The youngest Raven currently at The Tower, is Branwen, who was named following a public vote.
Since 1987 the Tower has undertaken a successful breeding programme for the ravens.
Charlie and Rhys paired up and produced a total of 17 chicks.
Ravens are intelligent birds and each of The Towers birds has its own personality~they can mimic sounds, play games and solve problems.
The ravens are free to roam the Tower precincts during the day, and preside over four different territories within the Tower's walls.
Visitors are encouraged not to feed the Ravens, or get too close, as they are territorial, and may bite if they feel threatened.