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Rare white ravens have been infrequently seen near Qualicum Beach's Ravensong Aquatic Center and are a startling and delightful sight in the dark green woods.
Ravens are fun to watch, with their playful and intelligent antics and big vocabulary. They out perform the Snowbirds with their courtship acrobatic flights doing barrel rolls and half rolls etc.
They perform as well as monkeys on some intelligence tests and can count to seven. I've watched ravens slide down the snow on their bellies and pull the tails of eagles and wolves. The latter is part game and part food stealing trick. When the bigger animal or bird whirls around the other ravens dart in and grab food. They've also done this to my dog. One raven I was well aquainted with took someone's car keys from the beach and flew over a lake just to see people get excited and jump up and down. Then he returned to the same spot and returned the keys.
There are some legends about the white raven from Haida story tellers. In one, all ravens were white until one stole the sun, moon, stars, water and fire and released them on the earth. In the process his feathers got sooty and singed and have stayed that way.
Here are a couple of the legends:
Photos courtesy Mike Yip - VancouverIslandBirds.com
Click here for more information on bird watching in Parksville Qualicum Beach.
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