In Errington, British Columbia, a Good Samaritan came across an incredibly rare white raven in May; the bird was unable to fly and had deep, open wounds on its feet. The kind person contacted the North Island Wildlife Recovery Center for help.
According to the rescue organization, the birds rarely make it through the winter and very few have ever been documented as making it to adulthood. Derek Downes, the animal care supervisor, described the immune systems of these birds have been compromised, and if they are injured, their chances of survival become very slim.
When he first arrived, he refused to eat and had to be fed with a tube. Since his continuing recovery however his appetite has improved.
The white ravens have been seen occasionally in the Oceanside area, but then seem to disappear. Their white feathers, pale skin and fur is related to leucism – a genetic mutation. Their feathers are different too; because of the lack of melanin they appear to be very brittle.
Everyone at the wildlife center agree the white raven is very special and has been recovering slowly. He has finished his second round of antibiotics and appears to be infection free. He continues to be administered vitamin supplements to improve his health and rebuild his immune system.
It is not known how long the bird will remain in the care of the wildlife center, but for long as he needs extra care and protection, he has a safe place to live.
And here’s the really cool part – white ravens and their part in folklore. Some stories claim an unusual encounter of albino or white ravens or crows indicates a cleansing; white is symbolic of healing, purification and revelation.
Another version of mythical lore claim in the Old Testament, the raven was the first bird Noah sent to look for land. They are used as a symbol of God’s providence in both the New Testament and in Christian art.
Finally, don’t leave this page until you have read the story of the white raven and the white buffalo. Once the two roamed the Earth together, but then man happened.
To make a donation to help with this rare bird’s rescue, please click here.