This young fledgling white raven was spotted in the Coombs area on May 16. (Mike Yip photo)

This young fledgling white raven was spotted in the Coombs area on May 16. (Mike Yip photo)

Expert says 2 sets of parents producing rare white ravens on Vancouver Island

One of the iconic birds is currently recovering at wildlife centre after being rescued

Nanoose Bay bird expert and photographer Mike Yip believes there are two sets of parents producing white ravens in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area.

On May 14, resident Bridget Flynn discovered a white raven with its four siblings in Coombs and informed Yip. He was able to take photos of the fledgling white raven on May 16.

Yip said he heard another report of a white raven in the area but was not able to track it down until an injured white raven was found and taken to the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre in Errington in late May. It confirmed Yip’s hunch that there is another set of parents producing white ravens in the area.

READ MORE: Rare white raven, 2 orphaned bear cubs cared for at Errington wildlife rescue centre

“To have one pair of common ravens producing white offspring is rare,” said Yip. “Having two pairs is incredible.”

Yip indicated the white ravens in the area are leucistic and are able to produce melanin as evidenced by the blue colour in their eyes.

“Leucism is hereditary so for every white raven produced, there is the possibility of two black siblings that carry the same recessive mutated gene,” Yip explained. “Over the course of 20 years there could be as many as 40 black ravens with the recessive gene. It would just be a matter of time before two of them mated.”

Yip also pointed out that leucism can also produced other factors such as disease.

“Without a DNA sample it is difficult to say if the injured raven is a product of heredity,” said Yip. “If it is, then there is the possibility of twice as many white ravens in coming years.”

Meanwhile the injured white raven that is now under the care of the recovery centre is on the mend, according to animal care technician Derek Downes.

“The white raven has completed its course of antibiotics and its body condition is slowly starting to improve,” said Downes. “As well it has started to pick at food on its own.”

There is no current timetable as to when the bird may be released back into the wild.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Parksvillequalicum beach

Just Posted

A shot from within Leah McDiarmid’s new gallery shows a sneak peak at June 13’s opening exhibit. (Leah McDiarmid photo)
New gallery promises engaging experience in Tofino

Tofino Gallery of Contemporary Art unveils inaugural exhibit on June 13

Louise Rodgers and Georgina Valk cup a handful of freshly sifted, nutrient-rich compost. The duo met about 10 years ago while their kids were in kindergarten. They saw a need for composting in Tofino so they founded Tofino Urban Farm Co. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Tofino moms turn mounds of organic waste into “Black Gold”

Curbside residential and commercial compost pickup to begin in 2022 for West Coasters

(file)
Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks thanks Tofino businesses for becoming allies

Businesses say they can play a part in reconciliation by supporting Indigenous stewardship

Ron MacDonald fields questions at a news conference in Halifax on Sept. 27, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Finding ‘comfortable’ indigenous monitor tough task in Tofino-area shooting death

Julian Jones case hampered by difficulty finding a civilian comfortable with privacy protocols

Ucluelet mayor and council will wait until further in-person engagement can take place before making their final approval regarding the draft OCP that went to public hearing on May 13. (District of Ucluelet photo)
Future public input session planned for Ucluelet’s draft OCP

“A couple little changes and some housekeeping items and we’ll get to it in September”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read