Tower of London ravens are moved indoors

February 28, 2006

Increasing fears of bird flu have prompted British officials to move the Tower of London's famous ravens indoors to protect them.

The H5N1 strain of avian influenza, first identified in China, has reached France and British government officials say they expect bird flu will likely arrive soon in their nation, National Geographic News reported Monday.

The unusual move was, at least in part, spurred by English legend that says a terrible evil will befall the kingdom if the Tower loses its ravens, which have lived at the landmark for more than 300 years.

King Charles II, who reigned from 1660 to 1685, decreed at least six ravens should always be kept at the 11th-century fortress overlooking the Thames River. The Tower is also home to Britain's Crown Jewels.

The Tower's current resident ravens -- Baldrick, Branwen, Gwyllum, Hugine, Munin, and Thor -- are usually seen strutting about the Tower's green where they are popular with sightseers.

But the birds, whose wings are clipped to prevent them flying away, are now residing in a royal aviary at one of the royal palace's towers and are said to be doing well, NGN reported.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Ravens rule Idaho's artificial roosts

Related Stories

Ravens rule Idaho's artificial roosts

August 11, 2014

A new study by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Idaho State University (ISU) explored how habitat alterations, including the addition of energy transmission towers, affect avian predators ...

Texas wind farms deploy radar so birds, not feathers, can fly

June 14, 2009

Wind on the Texas coast is tempting for energy companies. Unlike other parts of Texas - the nation's No. 1 wind energy state - the coast has breezes that blow consistently on summer days, when energy demand peaks. But there's ...

Recommended for you

How bees naturally vaccinate their babies

July 31, 2015

When it comes to vaccinating their babies, bees don't have a choice—they naturally immunize their offspring against specific diseases found in their environments. And now for the first time, scientists have discovered how ...

Binary star system precisely timed with pulsar's gamma-rays

July 31, 2015

Pulsars are rapidly rotating compact remnants born in the explosions of massive stars. They can be observed through their lighthouse-like beams of radio waves and gamma-rays. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational ...

Image: Hubble sees a dying star's final moments

July 31, 2015

A dying star's final moments are captured in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The death throes of this star may only last mere moments on a cosmological timescale, but this star's demise is still quite ...

Exoplanets 20/20: Looking back to the future

July 31, 2015

Geoff Marcy remembers the hair standing up on the back of his neck. Paul Butler remembers being dead tired. The two men had just made history: the first confirmation of a planet orbiting another star.

Earth flyby of 'space peanut' captured in new video

July 31, 2015

NASA scientists have used two giant, Earth-based radio telescopes to bounce radar signals off a passing asteroid and produce images of the peanut-shaped body as it approached close to Earth this past weekend.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.