Ravens raise three young at RSPB The Lodge
|Author: Mark Brandon, RSPB, Sandy||Published: 22nd May 2012 14:26|
Raven © Chris Gomersall (rspb-images.com)RSPB The Lodge nature reserve, in Sandy, is excited to announce that the ravens that have been nesting on the reserve have successfully fledged three young!
Visitors and staff have been delighted to see the parent birds taking food to the nest over recent weeks and eventually three young ravens were spotted taking their first flights over the RSPB headquarters.
The raven family are still soaring over the reserve, and the new heath and hillfort areas are good places to look out for them.
This is especially good news as ravens became extinct in Bedfordshire during the 19th Century. Until recently these impressive birds were exceptionally rare in the county, with just one record of a bird seen at Everton in 1978 during the whole of the twentieth century! Sightings became more frequent in the County from the start of the 2000's and birds have bred around Whipsnade in recent years.
Raven © James ClarkRavens seem to be spreading gradually westwards, mirroring another large bird, the common buzzard, which was also very rare away from its breeding stronghold in the west and is now widespread in the area.
- Ravens are the largest member of the crow family
- Their wingspan can be up to 1.2m
- They have a distinctive diamond-shaped tail
- They will eat rodents, insects, carrion and seeds
- They can live up to 15 years in the wild
- They have 3-7 eggs and incubate them for 18-20 days
- The young leave the nest at 35-42 days old
- Ravens are rare in the East of England - only four known breeding pairs in Bedfordshire in recent history.
- Ravens drop stones on predators that threaten thir nests or young.
- The collective noun for ravens is an unkindness.
The RSPB speaks out for birds and wildlife, tackling the problems that threaten our environment. Nature is amazing - help us keep it that way. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no 207076, Scotland no SC037654.
RSPB The Lodge, Sandy is open daily. There is a car park charge for non-members of £4 per vehicle.
For a full list of RSPB events at the Lodge see www.rspb.org.uk/events
For more information or raven images please contact Mark Brandon on 01767 693253