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Baby pics sought of ‘Sterling’ the ghostly crow in Chilliwack

Bird enthusiasts trying to determine age of leucistic American crow often seen at Sardis Pond
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This leucistic crow has a ghostly appearance and is often seen at Sardis Pond in Chilliwack. (Gord Gadsden photo)

The ghostly crow that frequents Sardis Pond is known as “Sterling” for his silvery hue.

Now it may be a long shot, but some local birding enthusiasts were chatting recently about this well-known leucistic crow and wondering if they could determine his age.

Area residents have been photographing the striking looking crow for years, so he may have been the subject of someone’s interest when he was a baby.

“The ghostly leucistic American crow, aptly named Sterling by some, has been seen at Sardis Pond in Chilliwack for quite a few years now,” explained Gord Gadsden, a local birding expert, and admin of the local Facebook group, Fraser Valley Birds.

“Denis Knopp and I were talking about him recently and wondering if anyone has photos of when he was a baby,” Gadsden explained.

Knopp is the organizer of the Chilliwack and Harrison Christmas Bird Counts, who compiles the extensive bird count results as well.

At some point Gadsden said there had been a photo kicking around of the light-coloured crow being fed by his parents, likely on social media. Incidentally both of its parents were completely black, Gadsden said, adding:

“It’s amazing how genes work.”

Leucism is a condition of reduced pigmentation in various animals, in this case a bird, characterized by an overall pale colour, or light patches, due to a genetic mutation.

Gadsden said the local crow may be “eight or nine years old at this point,” but he is looking to confirm this hypothesis with any older photos people may still have.

Anyone with information about Sterling can email Gadsden at gordfvb@gmail.com.



Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering the arts, city hall, as well as Indigenous, and climate change stories.
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