“Extremely rare” white crow spotted on remote island off Vancouver Island

WatchVideo courtesy Tahlia Minshull

A crow out for a stroll wouldn’t normally be worth documenting but Tahlia Minshull knew this wasn’t your average bird.

In a video recorded in Sointula on Malcolm Island on Sunday, Minshull appears to have documented a rare albino crow.

“I didn’t actually think it was a crow at first but then I heard him caw,” she says. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Minshull, who lives in Victoria but grew up on the small island, had returned home for the weekend to attend the annual Salmon Days festival.

She says she was walking past the Finnish Organizational Hall when she spotted the bird and started filming it.

“I was kind of in disbelief,” she says.

In the video the white bird is walking next to what Minshull calls your “classic black crow”. At one point the white crow lets out a caw. You can hear Minshull say “there’s the evidence” followed by a second person saying “of an albino crow.”

Although it’s difficult to tell in the video, Minshull says the crow’s eyes were red which would confirm it is albino.

CHEK News sent the video to the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre. After watching it, Derek Downes with the centre confirms it looks to be an albino northwestern crow.

“They’re extremely rare,” Downes says.

Last year an albino crow named Beano was dropped off by a good samaritan at the Gibsons Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.

The centre says Beano is the first albino crow it has had in its care in 30 years.

Beano’s vision is quite challenged and the centre fears the Sointula crow could have similar difficulties.

“I don’t know how long he’ll survive because he’s white and he’ll attract predators more,” says Irene Davy the operator of Gibsons Wildlife Centre.

Minshull shared the video with a few people on Malcolm Island and says some people were aware it was in the community.

“Everybody thought it was super cool, some people had seen it before,” she says.

Although only two crows were seen in the video, Minshull says there were several other crows in the area and all of them seemed to be getting along with the unique looking bird.

“At least he wasn’t being bullied,” she says.

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