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Critter of the Week

Critters of the Week

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Where Spotted: Reedy Creek and Forest Hill Park Lake
Common Name: Belted Kingfisher
Scientific Name: Megaceryle alcyon
Length: 11.0-13.8 in (28-35 cm)
Weight: 4.9-6.0 oz (140-170 g)
Wingspan: 18.9-22.8 in (48-58 cm)

Quick Facts (Cornell Lab)

  • The breeding distribution of the Belted Kingfisher is limited in some areas by the availability of suitable nesting sites. Human activity, such as road building and digging gravel pits, has created banks where kingfishers can nest and allowed the expansion of the breeding range.
  • The Belted Kingfisher is one of the few bird species in which the female is more brightly colored than the male. Among the nearly 100 species of kingfishers, the sexes often look alike. In some species the male is more colorful, and in others the female is.
  • During breeding season the Belted Kingfisher pair defends a territory against other kingfishers. A territory along a stream includes just the streambed and the vegetation along it, and averages 0.6 mile long. The nest burrow is usually in a dirt bank near water. The tunnel slopes upward from the entrance, perhaps to keep water from entering the nest. Tunnel length ranges from 1 to 8 feet.
  • As nestlings, Belted Kingfishers have acidic stomachs that help them digest bones, fish scales, and arthropod shells. But by the time they leave the nest, their stomach chemistry apparently changes, and they begin regurgitating pellets which accumulate on the ground around fishing and roosting perches. Scientists can dissect these pellets to learn about the kingfisher’s diet without harming or even observing any wild birds.
  • Belted Kingfishers wander widely, sometimes showing up in the Galapagos Islands, Hawaii, the British Isles, the Azores, Iceland, Greenland, and the Netherlands.
  • Pleistocene fossils of Belted Kingfishers (to 600,000 years old) have been unearthed in Florida, Virginia, Tennessee, and Texas. The oldest known fossil in the kingfisher genus is 2 million years old, found in Alachua County, Florida.

If you’re a fan of original content like those photos above be sure to give our Instagram and Dickie’s Backyard Bird Blind Bonanza on FB a follow and consider making a donation.




Huxley at Richmond SPCA

Hi, I’m Huxley! I’m a sweet, fun loving kitten. I love to play with other kitties, but can hang out on my own too. I’m looking for a forever home. I have some special medical needs, but nothing that’s expensive. Please call 804-521-1307 to find out more about me.

Age: , 5 months
Gender: Spayed Female
Color: Black / White
Declawed: No
ID: 45022496

Adopt Huxley at Richmond SPCA

Learn more about their adoption process.

To reduce visitor traffic, during the COVID-19 outbreak they are scheduling adoption appointments beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Please leave your phone number in a voicemail or email and an adoption counselor will call to set an appointment for you to meet with a pet. Email the adoption center or call 804-521-1307.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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Critter of the Week

Critters of the Week

A wild critter we spotted in the RVA area and a critter up for adoption by Richmond SPCA.

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Where Spotted: Westover Hills
Common Name: Black-throated Blue Warbler
Scientific Name: Setophaga caerulescens
Length: 4.3-5.1 in (11-13 cm)
Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz (8-12 g)
Wingspan: 7.5-7.9 in (19-20 cm)

Quick Facts Courtesy of Cornell Labs

  • Male and female Black-throated Blue Warblers look so different that they were originally described as two different species.
  • On the wintering grounds males and females use slightly different habitats. The male is most common in forest at lower to middle elevations, while the female uses shrubbier habitat at higher elevations.
  • In the Dominican Republic, Black-throated Blue Warblers take advantage of a sweet treat created by insects harvesting tree sap. These insects feed on tree sap and excrete drops of sweet sap or “honeydew” from their back ends that the warblers drink up.
  • The oldest Black-throated Blue Warbler was a female, and at least 9 years, 8 months old. She was banded in New Jersey in 1975 and shot in Panama in 1985.

If you’re a fan of original content like those photos above be sure to give our Instagram and Dickie’s Backyard Bird Blind Bonanza on FB a follow and consider making a donation.




Spice Girl at Richmond SPCA

Hi! My name is Spice Girl and I’m a cute, curious little lady looking for my place in this world and I hope that it’s with you! I love to play with toys and then have a cuddle session afterwards. I am quite silly and sure to keep you smiling with my antics. If you’d like to take me home, call the adoption center to learn more about me!

Age: 5 years, 1 month
Gender: Spayed Female
Color: Orange / Brown
Declawed: No
ID: 46968171

Adopt Spice Girl at Richmond SPCA

In response to COVID-19 and in order to reduce visitor traffic, observe necessary social distancing and to best protect the health and wellbeing of thier staff and members of the public, Richmond SPCA has transitioned to adoptions by appointment only. Please review their adoption appointment process.

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Critter of the Week

Critters of the Week

A wild critter we spotted in the RVA area and a critter up for adoption by Richmond SPCA.

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Where Spotted: Bryan Park
Common Name: Pine Warbler
Scientific Name: Setophaga pinus
Length: 5.1-5.5 in (13-14 cm)
Weight: 0.3-0.5 oz (9-15 g)
Wingspan: 7.5-9.1 in (19-23 cm)

Quick Facts Courtesy of Cornell Labs

  • Migrant Pine Warblers from the northern part of the range join resident Pine Warblers in the southern United States in winter. Sometimes they form large flocks of 50 to 100 or more.
  • The Pine Warbler is the only warbler that eats large quantities of seeds, primarily those of pines. This seed-eating ability means Pine Warblers sometimes visit bird feeders, unlike almost all other warblers.
  • Most warblers leave the continental U.S. for winter, but the Pine Warbler stays in the Southeast and is one of the first to return northward in spring. It arrives as early as February in areas just north of the wintering range and may begin breeding by late April.
  • The Pine Warbler’s closest relative seems to be the Olive-capped Warbler, which lives in pine forests of the West Indies. One of its next closest relatives is the ubiquitous Yellow-rumped Warbler, even though the two don’t superficially look much alike.
  • Individual Pine Warblers can show physical differences according to their diets: birds that were experimentally fed with mostly seeds developed larger gizzards (the organ that crushes food into pieces) and longer digestion times, while birds that ate fruit had longer intestines and shorter digestion times.
  • The oldest recorded Pine Warbler was a female, and at least 7 years, 10 months old when she was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in Florida in 2013.

If you’re a fan of original content like those photos above be sure to give our Instagram and Dickie’s Backyard Bird Blind Bonanza on FB a follow and consider making a donation.




Bubbles at Richmond SPCA

Hi! My name is Bubbles and I’m a cute, curious little fellow looking for my place in this world and I hope that it’s with you! I love to play with toys and then have a cuddle session afterwards. I am quite silly and sure to keep you smiling with my antics. If you’d like to take me home, call the Richmond SPCA adoption center for more details about my robust personality!

Age: 2 years, 4 months
Gender: Neutered Male
Color: Black / White
Size: M (dog size guide)
ID: 46286596

Adopt Bubbles at Richmond SPCA

In response to COVID-19 and in order to reduce visitor traffic, observe necessary social distancing and to best protect the health and wellbeing of thier staff and members of the public, Richmond SPCA has transitioned to adoptions by appointment only. Please review their adoption appointment process.

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Critter of the Week

Critters of the Week

A wild critter we spotted in the RVA area and a critter up for adoption by Richmond SPCA.

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Where Spotted: Bryan Park
Common Name: Northern Parula
Scientific Name: Setophaga americana
Length: 4.3-4.7 in (11-12 cm)
Weight:
0.2-0.4 oz (5-11 g)
Wingspan: 6.3-7.1 in (16-18 cm)

Quick Facts Courtesy of Cornell Lab

  • Before this species received the name Northern Parula (a diminutive form of parus, meaning little titmouse), Mark Catesby, an English naturalist, called it a “finch creeper” and John James Audubon and Alexander Wilson called it a “blue yellow-backed warbler.”
  • Northern Parulas have an odd break in their breeding range. They breed from Florida north to the boreal forest of Canada, but skip parts of Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, and some states in the Northeast. The reason for their absence may have to do with habitat loss and increasing air pollution, which affects the growth of moss on trees that they depend on for nesting.
  • Northern Parulas in the western part of their range sound different than those in the eastern part of their range. Western birds sing longer, less buzzy songs.
  • Northern Parulas are usually considered an eastern warbler, but they occasionally breed along California’s coast as well as in New Mexico and Arizona.
  • Some bird names are hard to pronounce, and the Northern Parula has started its share of lively debates. Most people say “par-OOH-la” or “PAR-eh-la,” while others say “PAR-you-la.”
  • The oldest recorded Northern Parula was a female at least 5 years, 11 months old, when she was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in Maryland.

If you’re a fan of original content like those photos above be sure to give our Instagram and Dickie’s Backyard Bird Blind Bonanza on FB a follow and consider making a donation.




Booger at Richmond SPCA

Age: 3 years, 5 months
Gender: Spayed Female
Color: Grey / White
Declawed: No
ID: 46034951

Booger is a silly, outgoing girl who loves people and wants all the attention she can get. Sometimes she gets so wound up by receiving affection that she may love-bite, but have no fear, this sweet lady just has a hard time containing her joy!

Booger has spent some time in foster care and her foster had this to say:

Shy is not the adjective for Booger. Within minutes of meeting you, she will playfully bonk your hand to get you to pet her. Though she’s always been social, she has gotten more talkative as she’s gotten more comfortable. She won’t hesitate to let you know it’s past dinnertime!

Booger is the biggest fan of proximity affection! Supervising your cooking? She loves it. Cuddling during a movie? She’s down. Watching you pee? Absolutely. She may not want to sit in your lap all the time, but she will always want to be within eyesight. She’s at her cuddliest in the morning, when she’ll even lick you or knead to remind you that she loves you.

Booger is a fan of television, and not just YouTube cat videos. She watches Netflix attentively, and she shows a clear preference for certain characters. She also loves toys with rattles, especially ones on sticks that can drag on the ground. Chin tickles and butt rubs are yet more of Booger’s favorite things.

Adopt Booger at Richmond SPCA

In response to COVID-19 and in order to reduce visitor traffic, observe necessary social distancing and to best protect the health and wellbeing of thier staff and members of the public, Richmond SPCA has transitioned to adoptions by appointment only. Please review their adoption appointment process.

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