'It's spectacular': Rare white raven spotted on Vancouver Island
Published Tuesday, July 28, 2020 12:53PM PDT Last Updated Tuesday, July 28, 2020 4:19PM PDT
NANAIMO -- A rare white-feathered raven has been spotted several times on Vancouver Island over this past month.
The unique bird regularly visits an islander’s property in the Qualicum Beach area.
“I’ve never seen a white raven,” said Laurie Alcock, the property owner’s sister. “It’s nothing I’ve ever seen before, it’s spectacular.”
The white raven will typically appear in the late afternoon with a flock of about 50 to 60 other ravens.
Alcock says the birds feed off the fields and fruit trees on her sister’s 25-acre property and stay for a couple of hours each day.
“I feel like the white raven was meant to come to the property. Apparently, it’s very good luck to see one,” said Alcock.
The owner of the Backyard WildBird and Nature Store in Nanaimo says that spotting a white raven is rare, though several have been seen in the Qualicum Beach and Coombs areas over the past 20 years.
“At one time there were two white ravens up there,” said Colin Bartlett, owner of Backyard WildBird and Nature Store.
“It could be the offspring of one from earlier,” he said. “Unless you’ve got them banded, you’ll never really know.”
Bartlett says that the raven’s white feathers could be caused by partial albinism or a genetic disorder called leucism which is when the pigmentation of their feathers is lost.