Wapping home to wild raven
It’s a well known fact to people who live here that Wapping is teeming with wildlife. Foxes, herons, squirrels, huge carp in the canal, numerous small birds of all varieties including sparrows and wagtails, magpies, jays, our beloved Egyptian Geese of course, swans and now… a raven!
How cool is this? Our very own Wapping raven.
Wild ravens have not been seen in London since around 1850.
Veronica as she is now known was first spotted by the Love Wapping Nature Patrol Chief Warden last year but at the time her significance was not realised. Our Chief Warden is not very good at identifying different types of birds as he has yet to equip himself with binoculars due to funding cuts.
Veronica the Raven was just another large black bird partial to nuts originally destined for the squirrels and it was only yesterday, when the Nature Patrol Chief Warden was on patrol with the Wapping Goose Wrangler, that some good photographs were taken.
How to spot Veronica the Wapping Raven
The Nature Patrol Chief Warden informs us that the best way to work out the difference between a raven and an ordinary crow is the shape of the head. The raven’s head is much rounder and has a noticeable neck. And ravens are bigger than crows. More details about ravens here on the RSPB site.
The Wapping Goose Wrangler put a link to the photos on Twitter and Chris Skaife, the Ravenmaster at Our Local Fortress (aka the Tower of London) agreed that Veronica is a raven. This was also confirmed by Nathan Emery, a lecturer and biology researcher into ‘feathered apes’ at Queen Mary College, University of London.
Which is good enough for us.
The relationship if any between Veronica the Wapping Raven and the ravens kept at the Tower of London is not known at present.
Where to see Veronica
You can find out more about Chris Scaife and his charges at Our Local Fortress in a superb feature by Spitalfields Life here.
For more information
- To find out how to enjoy birds in our city Love Wapping vist the Urban Birder
- And to see just how intelligent ravens are watch this from Springwatch Unsprung
All photographs on this page © Copyright 2013 All Rights Reserved Vickie Flores.