What Birds Live at the Tower of London?

Written by anne iredale
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What Birds Live at the Tower of London?
Ravens guard the Tower and the kingdom. (London - Tower of London image by XtravaganT from Fotolia.com)

One of the reasons tourists visit the Tower of London is to see the ravens always in residence there. Legend has it that the Tower, the Monarchy, or even England itself will fall if the ravens ever leave the Tower. King Charles II decreed that at least six ravens should live there at all times. Today, the raven population is always six plus a spare bird or two.

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Corvus corax

Ravens (their Latin name is Corvus corax) are members of the crow family. The raven is all black and resident in the U.K.

Where the Ravens Can Be Found

There are four main areas within the Tower's grounds where the ravens live. They are Tower Green, Coldharbour Gate, the Wall of the Inmost Ward and Roman City Wall.

Current Ravens: Marley

Marley is a male bird and has been at the Tower since 2006. He came from North Somerset in England.

Current Ravens: Erin

Erin is a female bird and has been at the Tower since 2006. She came from North Somerset in England.

Current Ravens: Merlin

Merlin is a female bird and has been at the Tower since 2005. She came from South Wales.

Current Ravens: Baldrick

Baldrick is a male bird and has been at the Tower since 2005. He came from Dartmoor in England.

Current Ravens: Munin

Munin is a female bird and has been at the Tower since 1995. She came from North Uist in Scotland.

Current Ravens: Thor

Thor is a male bird and has been at the Tower since 1995. He came from Hampshire in England.

Current Ravens: Hugine

Hugine is a female bird and has been at the Tower since 1995. She came from North Uist in Scotland.

Current Ravens: Gwyllum

Gwyllum is a male bird and has been at the Tower since 1988. He came from the Welsh Mountain Zoo.

Ravens in WWII

Most of the ravens resident at the time of World War II died. This is thought to have been the result of their being shell-shocked by the many German bombing raids. The one surviving bird was called Grip. Rumor has it that raven Mabel was kidnapped at this time. New ravens were brought in before the Tower was reopened to the public in 1946.

Escaped Ravens and Dismissed Ravens

The ravens have one of their wings trimmed to prevent them flying away, but a few have still managed to escape. Raven Grog was last spotted in 1981, outside a pub in London's East End. According to europeforvisitors.com: "...Raven George was exiled to the Welsh Mountain Zoo in 1986 after developing an unhealthy taste for TV antennas, while two other ravens were banished in 1996 for 'conduct unbecoming Tower residents.'"

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