Leucistic Raven draws crowds
A striking leucistic Raven has obtained 'celebrity status' in Alaska since its arrival in Anchorage in October.
The bird has set up residency in the Spenard neighbourhood, attracting birders and photographers from far and wide. An 'Anchorage White Raven Spottings' Facebook group has amassed close to 13,000 followers, with the bird often proving confiding and feasting on various fast-food items, including pizza and McDonald's.
The bird's striking appearance is due to leucism – which means it has a gene that causes a loss of pigmentation, giving it the unusual white plumage. It also has blue eyes.
In summer 2023, the Raven was spotted south of Anchorage in the Kenai Peninsula, where ornithologists confirmed the that bird is not a true albino but leucistic.
In winter, the number of Ravens in the city swell as birds from more rural areas move in to take advantage of easier food sources. Leucistic Ravens have been seen in Anchorage before, though the most recent was thought to have been two decades ago.