From Iceland — Raven Whisperer From Selfoss Gains Renown On Facebook

Raven Whisperer From Selfoss Gains Renown On Facebook

Published August 6, 2020

Catherine Magnúsdóttir
Photo by
Jóhann Helgi Hlöðversson

Jóhann Helgi Hlöðversson has made a name for himself as one of Iceland’s raven whisperers. On his Facebook page, a lot of his posts feature his lively feathered companion Dimma, a young raven whom he took in in June.

Jóhann was contacted by veterinarians in Selfoss when she was found, cold and exhausted, potentially having fallen out of her nest. He started looking after the young raven, since he already had a lot of experience with her kin.

For the past ten years, Jóhann has trained ravens for films and TV productions, for example for the series “Vikings” (can’t have a story about Nordic raiders without some trusty well trained ravens). He also owns a guesthouse at Vatnsholt in Flói, which he and his wife opened in 2010 after some bigger setbacks after the 2008 financial crisis—only to have Eyjafjallajökull erupt two weeks after their opening.

With the lack of guests, Jóhann found himself forced to look for other employment opportunities and odd jobs. One of which was training ravens. Nowadays Jóhann’s work as a raven whisperer is more for fun because he simply loves the birds and considers them some of the smartest creatures in the world, along with good companions.

The raven whisperer even named one of his hotel restaurants the “Blind Raven Restaurant“, the first Dining in the Dark restaurant in Iceland, where people can enjoy their meals in almost complete darkness to enhance the other senses and the tasting experience.

Jóhann’s raven Dimma (the name also meaning ‘dark’) is currently his only feathered companion but she also gets along well with his dogs, playing with them and even exhibiting some dog-like quirks and not flying all that much.

“I think she thinks she’s a dog and dogs don’t fly much. She still flies a little and if I put her on a branch and she gets bored she flies over to the next one,” Jóhann told Fréttablaðið.

Dimma is also said to star in an upcoming TV commercial next week, although which one is still a secret.

You can see a video of Dimma playing with one of Jóhann’s dogs here or below.

Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.

You can also check out our shop, loaded with books, apparel and other cool merch, that you can buy and have delivered right to your door.

Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!

Show Me More!