A couple touring a castle in northern England got an unusual surprise when a raven greeted them by asking them a question – “Y’alright love?”
Lisa and Mark Brooks were on a day trip to Knaresborough Castle, North Yorkshire, when they spotted the chatterbox chirping away as they walked the grounds. Stunned, Lisa took out her phone to film the bird talking.
The raven is well known on the castle grounds and is one of the “Talking Pied Ravens of Knaresborough”. She goes by the name Mourdour. Mourdour is an African pied or white chested raven. What I can’t get over is Mourdour the bird’s Yorkshire accent!
Another crow at the castle is known for being naughty – stealing tourists’ cameras by playing injured! Knaresborough Castle is located in the town of Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, England. There isn’t much left of the castle, but it’s become a popular park and events are held on the grounds.
The ravens at the castle are taken care of by Janette Igraine Hustwitt Skelton. She has the title Her Majesty’s Keeper of the Knaresborough Castle. She has devoted her life to care for the birds. She’s known to locals as “the raven lady”.
Skelton has said that the clever corvids will often pick up the accent of the people they learn from, which no doubt explains why Mourdour speaks with a Yorkshire accent.
Watch Skelton coach and interact with the raven Ravenelf, who mimics a variety of sounds and speech, in the video below.