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 conceptual rendering of the commercial plaza at 1130 Rocky Creek Road. (Town of Ladysmith/June 15 Council Agenda)
Rocky Creek commercial plaza passes public hearing

The proposed plaza at 1130 Rocky Creek Road would bring commercial activity to Ladysmith’s north end

Kate Cram and her team at Old Town Ice Cream are thrilled to be open for business. (Cole Schisler photo)
Old Town Ice Cream opens up right on time for summer

Located at 539 1st Avenue, Old Time Ice Cream is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Volunteers Alex Cook, Ron Dashwood, and Bill Drysdale have been hard at work restoring the old Ladysmith train station. (Cole Schisler photo)
Train station restoration on track for future community open house

Community is asked to give feedback on what they think the best use is for the station

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

People in Metro Vancouver can expect to experience a short wave of heat just in time for Father’s Day, according to Environment Canada. (Black Press Media files)
Short-lived heatwave headed for Metro Vancouver this weekend

Temperatures are expected to be up to 10 degrees higher than average Sunday and Monday

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

Most Read