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New ravens hatched on St George's day to keep Tower of London from crumbling

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 May 2019 | UPDATED: 08:06 17 May 2019

Ravenmaster Chris Skaife with one of the first four raven chicks hatched at The Tower in 30 years. Picture: Richard Lea-Hair

Ravenmaster Chris Skaife with one of the first four raven chicks hatched at The Tower in 30 years. Picture: Richard Lea-Hair

Richard Lea-Hair

Legend has it that the Tower of London will crumble if the ravens ever leave and great harm would befall the kingdom.

Newest resident at the Tower of London. Picture: Richard Lea-HairNewest resident at the Tower of London. Picture: Richard Lea-Hair

Fear not, beefeaters at The Tower assure us, for two lovebird ravens have been feathering their nest to ensure another generation rules the roost.

Proud parents Huginn and Muninn have welcomed four healthy baby chicks, the first to be hatched at The Tower in 30 years.

Yeoman Warder Chris Skaife, the castle's official Ravenmaster, noticed that they had built a large nest overnight.

Ravens at The Tower mean the sun won't set on the ancient castle, as the shadowy tale has it. Picture: Richard Lea-HairRavens at The Tower mean the sun won't set on the ancient castle, as the shadowy tale has it. Picture: Richard Lea-Hair

"My suspicions were piqued when the female started sitting on it," he said. "Then I noticed the pair going to the nest with food and found they had four healthy chicks.

"I'm absolutely thrilled and feel like a proud father!"

The chicks feed every two hours on a delicious diet of quail, mice and rats during this growth stage. But there's a 'pecking' order—Daddy raven, Huginn, prepares the food and passes to Mummy raven, Muninn, who gives it one by one to her chicks.

The 'munchkins' have quadrupled in size in just three weeks from tiny hatchlings to 12ins in height. They now have recognisable iridescent black plumages coming through, although it will take a year for their pink beaks to turn completely black.

One of the four chicks hatched on St George's Day, April 23, will stay at The Tower and be named George or Georgina.

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