The white raven has been spotted once again in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area.
Nature photographer and author Mike Yip said on Sunday (May 16) that a fledgling white raven, with its four black siblings, was seen near the end of Winchester Road in Coombs. The discovery was made by resident Bridget Flynn.
“This marks the continuation of one of nature’s most fascinating spectacles, and is rare everywhere in the world except in the Coombs-Qualicum region on central Vancouver Island,” said Yip. “White ravens are the product a mated pair of common ravens carrying the same rare recessive gene.”
Yip noted he first heard of white ravens in the late 1990s from golfers at Morningstar Golf Course and he has been photographing them since 2007. He said there has been at least one or two white ravens born every year for more than 20 years.
“Thanks to Bridget I was able to photograph the white raven before it left the nesting area with its black siblings,” said Yip. “I believe that most white ravens do not survive the winter. If they did, there would be a lot more white ravens around. All the white ravens I have seen have been juveniles, and I have only heard of one in over 20 years that had survived the winter.
‘Their feathers are less durable and have less insulating value which makes them susceptible to hypothermia, and their weaker eyesight may impair their ability to find food. Some people believe white ravens are also more likely to attract predators.”
— NEWS Staff