It’s great news for the Tower’s raven-breeding program, but even better news for the United Kingdom. According to legend, the Tower — and the entire kingdom — will fall if ravens ever leave the tower. King Charles II made this rule back in the 1600s after a mystical warning.
The little guys surprised everyone when they started to hatch in late April. Their parents, Huginn and Muninn, only moved to the Tower late last year. Christopher Skaife, the Tower’s Ravenmaster and a Yeoman Warder, didn’t think the couple would be settled enough to breed this season. Happily, he was wrong.
“My suspicions were first piqued that we might have a chance of baby chicks when the parents built a huge nest suddenly overnight, and then almost immediately the female bird started to sit on it,” said Skaife in a press release. “[Then] I noticed the birds going to the nest with food, however it has only been this week that I’ve been able to get up close and see for myself that they have four healthy chicks.”
Beaming proudly, Skaife says he’s a “happy dad” in the video below:
[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=55&v=yKG6YRG0s_8″ /]
He’s also been posting pics of the nest on Instagram…
And on Twitter — the tiny dudes look hungry!
I want food NOW! pic.twitter.com/9U03mCLhmT
— Chris Skaife (@ravenmaster1) May 18, 2019
These chicks are the first born at the Tower since 1989, when Ronald Raven hatched. No clever names yet for these nestlings, though George or Georgina is at the top of the list for one chick, as they began hatching on St. George’s Day.
Mom and Dad feed the babies as a team every two hours, keeping those bellies full. Ravenmaster Skaife supplies the parents with quail and small rodents for food. The chicks have quadrupled in size since they hatched, which is good. Embracing the ancient legend, some credit the ravens’ birth with saving the Tower and the kingdom. That’s a pretty heavy weight to carry on those tiny shoulders.
Congratulations to the “royal” raven family!