Connect with us
[adrotate banner="51"]

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.

Avatar

Published

on

Where Spotted: Byrd Park
Common Name: Hooded Merganser
Scientific Name: Lophodytes cucullatus
Length: 15.8-19.3 in (40-49 cm)
Weight: 16.0-31.0 oz (453-879 g)
Wingspan:
23.6-26.0 in (60-66 cm)

Quick Facts courtesy of Cornell Lab

  • Along with Wood Ducks and other cavity-nesting ducks, Hooded Mergansers often lay their eggs in other females’ nests. This is called “brood parasitism” and is similar to the practice of Brown-headed Cowbirds, except that the ducks only lay eggs in nests of their own species. Female Hooded Mergansers can lay up to about 13 eggs in a clutch, but nests have been found with up to 44 eggs in them.
  • Hooded Mergansers find their prey underwater by sight. They can actually change the refractive properties of their eyes to improve their underwater vision. In addition, they have an extra eyelid, called a “nictitating membrane,” which is transparent and helps protect the eye during swimming, like a pair of goggles.
  • Hooded Merganser ducklings leave their nest cavity within 24 hours of hatching. First, their mother checks the area around the nest and calls to the nestlings from ground level. From inside the nest, the little fluffballs scramble up to the entrance hole and then flutter to the ground, which may be 50 feet or more below them. In some cases they have to walk half a mile or more with their mother to the nearest body of water.
  • On the bird family tree, Hooded Mergansers (genus Lophodytes) lie between goldeneyes (Bucephala) and the other North American mergansers (Mergus). They share many courtship behaviors and calls with both of those groups.
  • The Hooded Merganser is the second-smallest of the six living species of mergansers (only the Smew of Eurasia is smaller) and is the only one restricted to North America.
  • The oldest recorded Hooded Merganser was a male and at least 14 years, 6 months old when he was shot in Mississippi in 2009. He had been banded in Minnesota in 1995.

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.




Halle Berry at RACC

Halle is a little sad and overwhelmed here at the shelter. Her owner recently passed away and she is in need of a home to live out her senior years.

Primary Color: Tortoiseshell
Secondary Color: White
Weight: 11
Age: 15yrs
Pet ID: 87848

Adopt Halle Berry at Richmond RACC

Due to COVID-19, the shelter is currently closed and adoptions are scheduled by appointment only. Adoptions are scheduled on a first come, first serve or best fit basis.

Comments

comments

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.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

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.

Avatar

Published

on

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.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

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.

Avatar

Published

on

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.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

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.

Avatar

Published

on

Where Spotted: Wetland
Common Name: Dark-eyed Junco
Scientific Name: Junco hyemalis
Length: 5.5-6.3 in (14-16 cm)
Weight: 0.6-1.1 oz (18-30 g)
Wingspan: 7.1-9.8 in (18-25 cm)

Quick Facts from the Cornell Lab

  • Juncos are the “snowbirds” of the middle latitudes. Over most of the eastern United States, they appear as winter sets in, and then retreat northward each spring. Other juncos are year-round residents, retreating into woodlands during the breeding season, or, like those of the Appalachian Mountains, moving to higher elevations during the warmer months.
  • The Dark-eyed Junco is one of the most common birds in North America and can be found across the continent, from Alaska to Mexico, from California to New York. A recent estimate set the junco’s total population at approximately 630 million individuals.
  • The oldest recorded Dark-eyed Junco was at least 11 years, 4 months old when it was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in West Virginia in 2001. It had been banded in the same state in 1991.

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. Also, check out our set of Bald Eagle photos that we posted earlier this week.




It’S Bo Time! at Richmond RACC

This big hunk of love is It’s Bo Time! If you’re looking for an affectionate, loving cuddle-bug, this is your guy! He is not aware of his size and thinks he’s a lap dog. Even though he’s larger, he walks really well on leash. He loves dogs, but is more dominant and kind of a bulldozer so he will need a friend closer to his size. We also think he had previous training experience because he responds very well to correction.

Please reach out if you are interested in It’s Bo Time!

Primary Color: Blue Brindle
Secondary Color: White
Weight: 64
Age: 3yrs 0mths 2wks
Pet ID: 87821

Adopt It’s Bo Time at Richmond RACC

Due to COVID-19, the shelter is currently closed and adoptions are scheduled by appointment only. Adoptions are scheduled on a first come, first serve or best fit basis.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Richmond Weather