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Gabriel Raven in the spotlight again.

Posted by Igraine hustwitt Skelton on September 12, 2014 at 6:55 PM Comments comments (0)

It has been a busy time for H.M. Raven Gabriel, Along with myself, we had the great honour of taking part in some filming at Mother Shipton's cave for ITV. With Warwick Davies no less. (wow we have met a real movie star). It was for his weekend away TV series, which I belive will be on the TV next spring. Mongo and Vivien seem to be very much in love, it is wonderful to see them stood on the nest platform their beaks intertwined. It was the right thing to do full marks to my husband who suggested it. We are planning to go live with a web cam in the next month or so, once I get myself organised.

As for Gabriel she has turned into a right diva, I am quite worried about her at the moment. She is usually so placid, but has become really aggressive. This has happened before but quite some time ago. She has also started making this strange grunting noise, which I have not heard before. I am keeping a close eye on her. It will soon be the end of the season for the castle, so both birds will be able to fly free on a more regular basis, so talons crossed this helps calm her down.

Our new ravens

Posted by Igraine hustwitt Skelton on August 12, 2014 at 5:55 AM Comments comments (0)

I have been very lax in not keeping you all up to date with how our ravens are doing. I was saddened by the loss of Ramases Neffetari, then Daya Desta, and my beautiful white necked raven Arthur, to that terrible illness. Vivian has however fought of the disease, and has flourished in the last few months.

We were able to purchase two comman ravens from a falconary lady in Northhamptonshire, one male one female. Going by the names of Mongo and Mortimer. They had been in the avairy together, but Mortimer obviously did not feel attracted to Mongo. He had built a nest for the last three years, but nothing else happened. Mortimer is a very timid bird and I think she felt intimidated by Mongo, he is( a big lad). We thought about trying Mortimer at the castle. So we brought her into the house in a large cage so Izabella would not bully her. She was settled until you looked at her, then she would turn manic. So we put her back outside in the avairy. We put Vivian in with Mongo, and hey presto, within five minutes she displayed to him fanning her tail. They now sit on the perch together with their beaks entwined. It is such a touching sight. I am going to try and get a photo to upload. We are hopeful they will go on and breed next spring. We will be doing a springwatch and have camera's above the nest platform. So you will be able to follow their progress. It also means we can watch the nest without having to bother the birds. Ringing the chicks will be a major task.

In other news there is a pair of white necked ravens for sale, plus a male bird. I would like to purchase all three, but am hoping I can secure finance for the male at least. I am hoping he is hand reared, then he can go to the castle, but have not heard back about this yet. I think thats all for now. Just to say Gabriel has increased her film portfolio, she has stared in a film with Jez Colbourn a welknown disabled actor in a film called 'The sound of the Sirens'. She has also been in Glass cannons Viking film ' Holmganga'. And this Sunday the 17th August she is filming with Warrick Davies at Mother Shiptons cave.

No eggs and a desimated nest

Posted by Igraine hustwitt Skelton on May 7, 2012 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Well what can I say, after weeks of giving Mongo and Mortimer constant sticks, tons of nest lining. It looks as if it was all in vain. The nest turned out to be just a rather large pile of sticks that almost touched the top of the roof. It covered the camera which now looks as if it has seen better days. Now they have started to tear it to bits, The aviary looks as if has been hit by a tornado, there are sticks and beding material all over the place. We shall leave it all in for now, but I think they still did not feel secure enough to breed so we shall see what happens next year.

 In other news we have to visitors, a rook we named after my late dad, because he arrived the day after my dad died. He had a broken wing and problems with his foot. So he will be a long term visitor. Then a couple of weeks ago we got alittle jackdaw who looks as if he might have been in a fight with a cat, he has no tail feathers and had a poorly eye. That has now got better due to some tlc, once his tail feathers have regrown he will be taken back to where he was found and released back into the wild.

no news is good news or so they say.T

Posted by Igraine hustwitt Skelton on February 24, 2012 at 6:20 PM Comments comments (0)

The nest has not got any bigger, but as far as I can tell there are no eggs yet. I think the ravens are just having a laugh at my expense. But why build a nest if you are not goingto have young. Maybe Mongo is all for it but Mortimer is not so sure, we will just have to waqit and see, our avain vet has said that they might have built the nest but there is a hiatus because mortimer is not in breeding condition yet, I wa busy ploughing today so george fed the birds, He said Mortimer was in the inside flight and Momgo went mad when he went in to fed them. So maybe there is an egg/eggs the nest is so big and deep it is hard to know. Talons crossed.

nest bigger than the empire state building. LOL

Posted by Igraine hustwitt Skelton on February 17, 2012 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

The nest is huge now, Mongo was still going around with sticks in his beak. I thought he might need some more because all the nest lining was still on the floor. The only problem is the nest is now so big I doubt Mortimer will be able to get into it. We will have to wait and see what will happen. I am hoping that they will have young.

fun and games in the garden.

Posted by Igraine hustwitt Skelton on February 6, 2012 at 6:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Vivian is still showing signs of the illness that has plauged so many of our birds. Infact with the cold weather and snow it was worse than ever. We still had some medicine left so have continued with that. Then yesterday sunday when we went to give her it, George in a moment of madness went into the aviary and for some quite bizarre reason did not shut the door. So you can imagine what happened next, yes out she flew, luckliy for us she only went on to the shed roof, George is not good in these kind of situations, he tends to panic, when a cool head is needed. Vivian then went into next door's garden and sat on his percoda, Simon threw snowballs in her direction but she just thought he was playing. She then went into the next garden, and sat quite happily on the fence no doubt chuckling to herself as we tried to persuade her to come home. She went to ground and with the help of Mr Browns golden labrador (who i think hankers after a sheep dogs job ) we got her cornered between the conservatory wall and the fence. I took my coat off and wallah Vivian was re caught. I was very concerened about her mouth , so i decided to bring her in and put her in the hospital cage. The warmth has obviously done her some good. I emailed the vet and he is sending somemore medication for her. I have to ring him a week on monday for a progress report.

      in other news the nest is getting bigger by the day, I will not be able to see inside even from the outside of the aviary, so unless we get a camera inside some how we will not know if there are any eggs.

talons crossed

Posted by Igraine hustwitt Skelton on February 1, 2012 at 12:40 PM Comments comments (0)

On a whim I decided to put some twigs in the aviary now that Mongo and Mortimer are by themselves. I was not prepared for what .happened next . George rang me at the smithy and said the birds were piling up the twigs on the large branch perch in the corner of the aviary. To say they are supposed to be the cleverest birds in the world, this was a daft idea, not only was it to close to the aviary wire, but it was not nearly wide enough to cope with a raven nest. So it  was all hands to the pump. Thomas george and I put up the new nest platform and guess what? Yes all the sticks have been moved on to there and we have the making of a huge nest. Talons crossed that after so much bad luck and loss of both birdds and chicks we are now due some good luck!!!!!!!

Vivian at the vets.

Posted by Igraine hustwitt Skelton on January 16, 2012 at 11:55 AM Comments comments (0)

After the death last week of Desta from the same illness that killed four of our other ravens, we now have a problem with vivian. Today we took her to a new avian vet. Not because we had lost faith with our previous vet, who has served us very well. But because we thought a new pair of eyes, another prospective, might help us get to the bottom of just what this illness is. Swabs have been taken of the mucous in her throat and scrappings of the white yeast like substance in her lower mandible. These are being sent to the lab to see if they can identifie just what the illness is and if it is caused by some other underling problem.

now Desta has died

Posted by Igraine hustwitt Skelton on January 13, 2012 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (0)

today we found Desta dead on the floor of the outside flight. She was due to go to the vet on monday with vivian, as they were both showing signs of the illness that killed Arthur and then Daya. The vets do not know what this illness is for sure. Will it kill all the ravens before we find out just what it is and can direct the best preventation. It is such a worry.

after a gallent fight.

Posted by Igraine hustwitt Skelton on November 1, 2011 at 2:05 AM Comments comments (0)

It is with much sadness I have to tell you all, Daya died in the early hours. He has fought for over a year with an illness that the avian vet had never seen before. He has had so many pills and potions. Desta was pining for him so we brought a big cage in opposite the hospital cage, so they could see each other. WE took Daya out and put him in with Desta. They sat on the same perch and it was so touching they had one of their feet over each others like we would hold hands. But Daya was fluffed up so I felt he needed the warm of the hospital cage so we put him back in there. By this time he did look weak, but he had been eating. WE will never know what he died of unless we have a pm, but I do not want to do that to him. As for Desta, we still have a young crow who can not fly, so we are considering trying him in the avairy with Desta so she is not alone.