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

From the left: Market on Market manager Heather Underwood, the DBA’s Alf Him (formerly co-chair), John McNamara and Couns. Christine Thompson and Cathy Korolek wave to the camera on the market’s opening day, Saturday, May 15. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks street market curtailed after city council meeting

Market Avenue will reopen to vehicle traffic Sundays through Thursdays, starting June 20

Daryl Jolly, his wife Kerry Pagdin, their sons Cole Jolly (left) and Graeme Jolly, and their dogs Gracie and Clover. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College arts chair diagnosed with lung cancer, family launches fund drive

Daryl Jolly co-founded the college’s digital arts program

An ambulance waits to pick up an elderly couple injured in a vehicle collision in Christina Lake Monday, June 14. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Christina Lake collision under investigation, say Grand Forks RCMP

No one was seriously hurt in a two-car collision on Highway 3 Monday, June 14

TELUS is proposing to construct a 5G tower at Pople Park. Photo: Sheri Regnier
First 5G tower in Trail proposed for placement in popular park

TELUS has a consultation process open until June 28

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Grace (left), a caribou that was born in a maternal pen north of Revelstoke, is alive and well said the province. It appears she even has a calf. Maternity pens aim to increase caribou calf survival by protecting them from predation until they are older and less vulnerable. (Contributed)
For the first time in years, caribou numbers increasing near Revelstoke

North herd growing but south herd still concerning

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

Kelowna General Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna General Hospital declared over

Three people tested positive for the virus — two patients and one staff — one of whom died

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers tested more than 230 commonly used cosmetics and found that 56% of foundations and eye products, 48% of lip products and 47% of mascaras contained high levels of fluorine

Most Read