Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgic : Guardian of the Tower

toweroflondondone

Ravens have long been regarded as the official Guardians and Protectors of the Tower of London. Historians believe they’ve been guarding the Towers since Victorian times. Superstition dictates that without them the Towers will fall and crumble along with the British monarchy . When Anne Boleyn was put to death there in 1535 it’s said that the ravens all went silent. There has to be six protected ravens in residence at all times, and one extra waiting in the wings just in case. They are treated like royalty and cared for by the Ravenmaster, who lives on the property with his family. Some of these living quarters at the Tower date back to the 13th Century. Wouldn’t want to be the local Tower plumber. The Ravenmasters job is to care solely for the welfare of the ravens, who are very well fed with raw meat from the Smithfield Meat Market around the corner (hand-picked daily by the Ravenmaster), as well as an assortment of fresh fruits and vitamin-rich supplements. The ravens respond only to the Ravenmaster and no one else. Their flight feathers are trimmed so they aren’t able to fly too far away, but they have the roam of the Tower grounds, which is where I came across this magnificent creature giving me the eye. Each raven is named and is banded with a different colour to distinguish which area they will preside over in four different territories within the Towers. This doesn’t mean the cheeky ones haven’t managed to pull a Mick Dundee and go walkabout, raven “Grog” was last spotted outside an East End Pub, and raven “George” was sadly relieved of his duties for his ongoing crimes destroying the neighbouring tv antennas. Highly intelligent, they’ll often steal chips from distracted schoolchildren, but they don’t like the taste of some of them and will dip the chips in water before eating them to dull the taste of the spices. Whoever came up with the term birdbrain really didn’t have a clue. If you research bird intelligence you’ll find that it’s been proven that they understand concepts through advanced forms of comprehension, things like gravity and suspension. Many of these problem-solving skills are far more complicated than the trial and errror tests (like those performed by chimps), and birds can solve complex multi-step problems that the average one and a half year old human child fails to complete.

YM Andrew Lane with raven

This majestic British beauty defines nostalgia for me, representing my love for the history behind my British heritage, and my deep respect for these magical creatures. I’m a long-time advocate of avian intelligence. I have so many incredible stories to tell.

I can’t wait to let them out of the bag.

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5 Responses to “Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgic : Guardian of the Tower”

  1. Fantastic article. I love the Raven

  2. Who knew? Amazing what goes on across the pond… Thanks!

  3. Thanks for following my blog. I hope you continue to enjoy it.

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