In my area of the inland northwest, U.S.A., the Common Raven is prevalent. Nearly all that I've seen have the typical heavy black beaks. Occasionally, both I and my husband have seen what looks like a typical raven in every other feature, except the heavy beak is bright yellow. As far as I know, we have no other corvid species in our area with yellow beaks. Could this be a mutation, or did someone's pet Myna bird escape and become wild? Do Mynas even have yellow beaks?
I'm thinking maybe this is some exotic species that has been imported to this region or has escaped from a cage somewhere. We have rarely seen it, and there may be more than one -- but when we have spied it, that bright yellow beak stands out like a sore thumb.
Has anyone else living in the north Idaho panhandle seen this? I would like to know what it is.
Maybe a mutant juvenile? They don't normally have yellow bills, but do have a bright orange inside to their bills when young.
Yes, some mynas (particularly the Hill Myna) do have yellow bills, but they are a lot smaller - less than a third of the size of a Raven, less than half the size of a Crow, so mistaking them for a Raven is very unlikely.
Hubby says he has thus far seen five of these yellow-billed ravens at our local dumpster, amid the flocks of typical black-beaked ravens that often assemble there. He didn't say whether or not he saw these birds with their beaks open, and on the ones I've seen flying overhead with bright yellow beaks looked like their bills were closed. It could well be that some juvies may have yellow on the outside of their beaks as well as inside -- but to see five seems unusual. Usually, mutations like that are much rarer.
I'm going to consult the bird library at Cornell University's Lab of Ornithology to see if there's any explanation. If I've seen ravens with prominent yellow beaks, so have others, and there may be records of it.