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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 SPCA.

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Side note, the “crown” gets much more noticeable when the bird is excited. See an example here.

Where Spotted: Wetlands
Common Name: Ruby-Crowned Kinglet
Scientific Name: Regulus calendula
Length: 3.5-4.3 in (9-11 cm)
Weight: 0.2-0.3 oz (5-10 g)
Wingspan: 6.3-7.1 in (16-18 cm)

Quick Facts Courtesy of Cornell Labs

  • The Ruby-crowned Kinglet is a tiny bird that lays a very large clutch of eggs—there can be up to 12 in a single nest. Although the eggs themselves weigh only about a fiftieth of an ounce, an entire clutch can weigh as much as the female herself.
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglets seem nervous as they flit through the foliage, flicking their wings nearly constantly. Keeping an eye out for this habit can be a useful aid to identifying kinglets.
  • Metabolic studies on Ruby-crowned Kinglets suggest that these tiny birds use only about 10 calories (technically, kilocalories) per day.
  • The oldest known Ruby-crowned Kinglet was a female, and at least 4 years, 7 months old, when she was recaptured and re-released during banding operations in California in 2007. She had been banded in the same state in 2003.

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.




Trebek at Richmond SPCA

Trebek is one handsome outgoing boy! He is a larger frame guy who is so eager to say hello to new friends. Trebek loves rolling around getting all the attention and is always up for a chin scratch or 5. This is one special guy, you don’t want to miss your chance to make him a part of your family.

Age: 5 years,
Gender: Neutered Male
Color: Orange / White
Declawed: No
ID: 46062555

Adopt Trebek 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 RACC or Ricmond SPCA.

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Where Spotted: Pony Pasture
Common Name: Winter Wren
Scientific Name: Troglodytes hiemalis
Length: 3.1-4.7 in (8-12 cm)
Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz (8-12 g)
Wingspan: 4.7-6.3 in (12-16 cm)

Quick Facts from Cornell Lab

  • Per unit weight, the Winter Wren delivers its song with 10 times more power than a crowing rooster.
  • The Winter Wren is almost identical to the Pacific Wren and Eurasian Wren, and the three were considered the same species until 2010. Genetic and other evidence prompted researchers to split them into the Pacific Wren of western North America, the Winter Wren of eastern North America, and the Eurasian Wren of the Old World.
  • Where the ranges of the Pacific Wren and Winter Wren come together, in British Columbia, the two almost identical species sing different songs. The males battle each other, but the females seem to choose only mates that sing “their” song—keeping interbreeding to a minimum. Find out more in Living Bird magazine.
  • The Americas are the land of the wren: more than 80 species live in North and South America, but only one wren occurs in the rest of the world (the Eurasian Wren).
  • The oldest recorded Winter Wren was a female and at least 6 years, 6 months old, when she was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in California in 2009. She had been banded in the same state in 2003.
  • Male Winter Wrens build multiple nests within their territory. During courtship, males lead the female around to each nest and the female chooses which nest to use.

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.




Bonus Barred Owl photo that I captured last week.

James Kirk at Richmond SCPA

Hi friends! I hope you can help me with something… I need to find a family of my very own! They would share my sense of adventure and my fun-loving spirit. They would also be able to join me in a game of chase followed by cuddle time on the couch. Could you be the one I’m looking for? Take me home today!

Age: 5 years,
Gender: Neutered Male
Color: White
Declawed: No
ID: 46416940

Adopt James Kirk at the 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 our staff and members of the public, Richmond SPCA have 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 or a bit further afield and a critter up for adoption by RACC or Ricmond SPCA.

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Where Spotted: Back Bay Nature Preserve near Virginia Beach (October)
Common Name: It has many, cottonmouth, water moccasin, swamp moccasin, black moccasin, or simply viper
Scientific Name: Agkistrodon piscivorus
Length: 26 to 35 in for males – females run a little smaller
Weight: 10.32 to 20.44 oz for males – 7.09 to 8.96 oz for females

Quick Facts Courtesy of Live Science

  • The name ‘cottonmouth’ comes from the white coloration of the inside of the snake’s mouth.
  • The water moccasin, North America’s only venomous water snake, has a distinctive blocky, triangular head; a thick body; and a dangerous bite. Water moccasins rarely bite humans, however, and only attack when threatened.
  • Water moccasins are pit vipers, like copperheads and rattlesnakes. Alll pit vipers have heat-sensing facial pits between their eyes and nostrils. These pits are able to detect minute differences in temperatures so that the snake can accurately strike the source of heat, which is often potential prey.
  • Juveniles have bright-yellow tail tips that they use as a caudal lure to attract prey. They undulate the tail tip slowly back and forth to lure prey, such as frogs, within striking distance.
  • Females give birth to live young every two to three years, in litters of about 10 to 20 babies.
  • Babies are born brightly colored and take off on their own as soon as they’re born. Parents do not care for them.
  • Water moccasins are often confused with nonvenomous snakes, leading to the death of many harmless snakes. According to the Virginia Herpetological Society, one such species is the northern water snake (Nerodia sipedon). It looks similar, but the crossbands on the back of the snake do not widen at the ends. Another snake often mistaken for the cottonmouth is the nonvenomous brown water snake (Nerodia taxispilota), which has most of its body below the water when in motion and only the head showing when it’s motionless, unlike the cottonmouth, whose entire body is on the surface of the water.

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.




Shrimp at Richmond SPCA

Shrimp is a hilarious, loving, and silly dog. She has a severe case of elbow dysplasia that causes her legs to bow out, and gives her a very odd gait when she walks. Her elbow dysplasia really doesn’t slow her down though, and she is still in good spirits!

She also has a condition called Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction where her soft palate is elongated. These medical needs will require long term treatment, but despite these conditions, Shrimp is happy go lucky, very affectionate, and very playful. She loves toys but likes to snuggle even more.

Age: 2 years,
Gender: Spayed Female
Color: Black / Tan
Size: L (dog size guide)
ID: 46369399

Adopt Shrimp at the 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 our staff and members of the public, Richmond SPCA have 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 RACC or Ricmond SPCA.

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Where Spotted: Westover Hills
Common Name: Cooper’s Hawk (juvenile)
Scientific Name: Accipiter cooperii

Male
Length: 14.6-15.3 in (37-39 cm)
Weight: 7.8-14.5 oz (220-410 g)
Wingspan: 24.4-35.4 in (62-90 cm)
Female
Length: 16.5-17.7 in (42-45 cm)
Weight: 11.6-24.0 oz (330-680 g)
Wingspan: 29.5-35.4 in (75-90 cm)

Quick Facts Courtesy of Cornell Labs

  • Dashing through vegetation to catch birds is a dangerous lifestyle. In a study of more than 300 Cooper’s Hawk skeletons, 23 percent showed old, healed-over fractures in the bones of the chest, especially of the furcula, or wishbone.
  • A Cooper’s Hawk captures a bird with its feet and kills it by repeated squeezing. Falcons tend to kill their prey by biting it, but Cooper’s Hawks hold their catch away from the body until it dies. They’ve even been known to drown their prey, holding a bird underwater until it stopped moving.
  • Once thought averse to towns and cities, Cooper’s Hawks are now fairly common urban and suburban birds. Some studies show their numbers are actually higher in towns than in their natural habitat, forests. Cities provide plenty of Rock Pigeon and Mourning Dove prey. Though one study in Arizona found a downside to the high-dove diet: Cooper’s Hawk nestlings suffered from a parasitic disease they acquired from eating dove meat.
  • Life is tricky for male Cooper’s Hawks. As in most hawks, males are significantly smaller than their mates. The danger is that female Cooper’s Hawks specialize in eating medium-sized birds. Males tend to be submissive to females and to listen out for reassuring call notes the females make when they’re willing to be approached. Males build the nest, then provide nearly all the food to females and young over the next 90 days before the young fledge.
  • The oldest recorded Cooper’s Hawk was a male and at least 20 years, 4 months old. He had been banded in California in 1986, and was found in Washington in 2006.

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.




 

Dayglow at Richmond SPCA

 

This aptly named feline, Dayglow emits a radiant aura but not in the diva sense but in princess way. One can tell that she appreciates when someone speaks very sweetly to her because she will find it in her heart to amble off her very comfy bed to say hello. As many folks know if a kitty has some calico in her genes there probably is some spice in her personality making her layered and VERY princess behaved. Overall, Dayglow is a darling rollie poly adorable girl that wants very much to fall in love.

Age: 7 years, 3 months
Gender: Spayed Female
Color: Grey / Apricot
Declawed: No
ID: 45587465

Adopt Dayglow 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 our staff and members of the public, Richmond SPCA have transitioned to adoptions by appointment only. Please review their adoption appointment process.

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