Tower of London welcomes baby ravens for the first time in 30 years
According to a statement, the chicks eat at least once every two hours, feasting on a diet of quail, mice and rats procured by Skaife, prepared by their father Huginn, and passed along by their mother Muninn. All four are growing quickly, quadrupling in size from around 8 centimeters tall at birth to more than 30 centimeters last week. Although the baby ravens are beginning to develop their species’ characteristic black plumage, it will take another year or so for their beaks to become fully black. Come late summer, one of the four chicks, named George or Georgina in a nod to the day on which they hatched, will permanently join the seven ravens (not counting Huginn, Muninn and the newborns) currently in residence at the Tower. The remaining three, according to Metro’s Kate Buck, will be placed under the care of a specialist breeder in Somerset.
Overall, Tower ravens tend to live longer than those in the wild. According to Historic Royal Palaces, the charity tasked with overseeing the Tower and other national landmarks, one corvid lived from 1884 to 1928—an astounding 44 years. Today, the ravens enjoy a diet of fresh raw meat, a once-weekly egg treat and the occasional rabbit.
In a press release, the ravenmaster—author of a 2018 autobiography detailing his singular occupation—concludes, “Having worked with the ravens here at the Tower for the last thirteen years and getting to know each of them, I feel like a proud father.”