I’m not sure why the novel needed a raven, but like all the elements I’m writing about, I started from a position of near-total ignorance! Ravens are the largest members of the Corvid family, some of the most intelligent birds around.
I used some of my prize money to spend an afternoon with Grip and Luna at Lavenham Falconry – two very different ravens, both full of personality.
Grip does not like the ground, and will hop up to anything that’s at least a foot clear of it. Luna, on the other hand, fancies herself a gardener, and will neatly and methodically nip the heads off stray flowers in her patch of grass. Luna was very possessive of her handler, making sure no-one else was between her and him.
We tried out a few aspects of the plot while I was there. Luna was very adept at catching scraps mid-air which was great! Both birds enjoyed getting clean, bathing and preening themselves, and I was lucky enough to get a few stray feathers from Grip. I’m going to try and use one as a quill once my ink is made.