The Rare and Fascinating White Ravens of Vancouver Island

Qualicum, White Raven Capital of the World There is little doubt that Qualicum is the White Raven Capital of the World, and just to prove the point, another White Raven was recently added to the family.

Photographer stopped by the woods close to the Qualicum Civic Centre and was lucky enough to photograph the latest white, blue-eyed offspring. According to a town worker there was only one White Raven seen this year.

white ravens

White Ravens are extremely rare all over the world except in Qualicum. Some say it’s the water. Others claim it is the pure Island air.

Albinism and leucism are known phenomena in nature. In simple terms these are genetic that affect the pigmentation of the cells in animals. If the animal lacks all pigmentation and has pink eyes, it is an albino. If it lacks pigmentation in only some parts and doesn’t have pink eyes, it is leucistic.

white ravens

The situation usually arises when two black Common Ravens with the same genetic mate. However, since they are monogamus and long-lived, there is no reason why they can’t produce successive generations of White Ravens. This definitely seems to be the case in the Qualicum area.

Photos Mike Yip

White Ravens have been reported for well over a decade. A golfer at nearby Morningstar golf course phoned to say he once saw four White Ravens on the same branch of tree. Another golfer phoned to tell about a White Raven mated to a black raven and the produced mottled brown offspring.

white ravens

The White Raven is held in high regard by many native cultures and has special spiritual significance. Several native legends credit the White Raven for bringing light to the world by freeing the sun, moon, and stars which were locked away by an evil being.

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