A new white raven has been spotted near Coombs. — Mike Yip photo

A new white raven has been spotted near Coombs. — Mike Yip photo

White raven attracts attention on Vancouver Island

Rare bird seen near family farm in Coombs

  • Jul. 4, 2018 9:16 a.m.

A few years ago I dubbed the Qualicum region the “White Raven Capital” of the based on about 20 continuous years of rare white ravens being produced by a pair of black common ravens. It was an extremely unusual phenomenon seldom seen in the whole world requiring both parents to possess recessive gene alleles. The white ravens attracted worldwide interest, but the string ended around 2013 possibly because the parents were beyond their breeding age.

Amazingly, five years later a newly fledged white raven has been produced by a new pair of common ravens on the Kroot family farm in Coombs. The bird has been seen as far as Butterfly World and various locations along Winchester Road, but it has been returning regularly to the Kroot farm.

Based on the scientific definition the bird is leucistic and not an albino because it has blue eyes.

— Mike Yip is a local nature photographer and the author of Vancouver Island Birds, Vancouver Island Butterflies, available locally at Lighthouse Gifts, Sandbar Café, Alcove, Qualicum Cheeseworks, Springford’s, and Nanoose Medicine Shop. His column marks 2018 as the International Year of the Bird.