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Critters 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 Richmond SPCA.

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Where Spotted: Wetlands
Common Name: Gadwall
Scientific Name: Mareca strepera
Length: 18.1-22.4 in (46-57 cm)
Weight: 17.6-44.1 oz (500-1250 g)
Wingspan: 33.1 in (84 cm)

Quick Facts Courtesy of Cornell Lab

  • Gadwall sometimes steal food from American Coots and from other ducks.
  • Gadwall have increased in numbers since the 1980s, partly because of conservation of wetlands and adjacent uplands in their breeding habitat through the Conservation Reserve Program and the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. Their habit of nesting on islands within marshes gives them some protection from predators.
  • Female Gadwall produce an egg a day while they are laying their 7–12-egg clutches. To meet their demand for protein during this stressful time, female Gadwall eat more invertebrates than males during this period—in addition to using reserves of nutrients they’ve stored in their bodies during the winter.
  • The oldest known Gadwall was a male, and at least 19 years, 6 months old. He was banded in Saskatchewan in 1962 and shot during hunting season in Louisiana in 1981.

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.

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Wheat Thin at Richmond SPCA

Hi! My name is Wheat Thin and I’m a cute, curious 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 Richmond SPCA adoption center to schedule a time to meet me!

Age: 4 years, 5 months
Gender: Spayed Female
Color: Black / White
Size: XL (dog size guide)
ID: 45419238

 

Adopt Wheat Thin 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.

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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.

Critters 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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Where Spotted: Pony Pasture
Common Name: Cicada Killer Wasps
Scientific Name: Sphecius speciosus
Length: 1.5-2 inches

Quick Facts Courtesy of the Smithsonian

  • Females create u-shaped burrows in bare soil. As much as 100 cubic inches of soil may be brought to the surface as tunnels are formed.
  • Cicada Killer Wasps provisions its nest with cicadas.
  • The female then seeks a cicada in the trees, apparently by vision rather than sound, suggested because the majority of her prey are female cicadas which make no sound. Cicadas are usually captured in flight. Cicadas are paralyzed by the venom of the wasp’s sting, and will remain alive during the feeding of the wasp larvae.
  • After stinging the cicada, the female wasp carries it back to her burrow, sometimes a hundred yards away. She sometimes uses the law of physics by climbing a tree or shrub and partly gliding with the cicada in the direction of her burrow. Without the presence of trees or shrubs, she will walk on the ground. The female Cicada Killer lays one egg in a cell with one, two or three cicadas, then seals the chamber.
  • Sometimes skunks may dig up areas that have been extensively tunneled by the wasps to feed on cicadas and wasp larvae.
  • Cicada Killer Wasps are solitary wasps, but can occur in such numbers that they disturb lawns with their burrows. They also will sting if molested.

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.

Chard at the Richmond SPCA

Are you searching for a fun, friendly and adorable family member? My name is Chard and I’m the girl for you! I am pretty lonely here by myself, just waiting for my special someone to come along. Won’t you please take me home today?

Age: 3 months
Gender: Spayed Female
Color: Brown / White
ID: 50524921

Adopt Chard at Richmond SPCA

Learn more about their adoption process.

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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Critters 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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Where Spotted: Westover Hills
Common Name: Eastern Chipmunk
Scientific Name: Tamias striatus
Length: 8-12 inches in length including the tail (the one pictured was considerably smaller)
Weight: 2.3-4.5 oz

Quick Facts

  • The name “chipmunk” comes from the Ojibwe word ajidamoo (or possibly ajidamoonh, the same word in the Ottawa dialect of Ojibwe), which translates literally as “one who descends trees headlong.”
  • The eastern chipmunk defends its burrow and lives a solitary life, except during mating season.
  • To hide the construction of its burrow, the eastern chipmunk carries soil to a different location in its cheek pouches.
  • It can climb trees well, but constructs underground nests with extensive tunnel systems, often with several entrances.

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.

Shelby at Richmond SPCA

Are you searching for a fun, friendly and adorable family member? My name is Shelby and I’m the girl for you! I am pretty lonely here by myself, just waiting for my special someone to come along. Won’t you please take me home today?

Age: 1 year, 9 months
Gender: Spayed Female
Color: Brindle / White
Size: M (dog size guide)
ID: 48952435

Adopt Shelby at Richmond SPCA

Learn more about their adoption process.

 

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

Continue Reading

Critters of the Week

Critters of the Week

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

Published

on

Where Spotted: Wetlands
Common Name: Tufted Titmouse
Scientific Name: Baeolophus bicolor
Length: 5.5-6.3 in (14-16 cm)
Weight: 0.6-0.9 oz (18-26 g)
Wingspan: 7.9-10.2 in (20-26 cm)

Quick Facts Courtesy of Cornell Labs

  • The Black-crested Titmouse of Texas and Mexico has at times been considered just a form of the Tufted Titmouse. The two species hybridize where they meet, but the hybrid zone is narrow and stable over time. They differ slightly in the quality of their calls, and show genetic differences as well.
  • Unlike many chickadees, Tufted Titmouse pairs do not gather into larger flocks outside the breeding season. Instead, most remain on the territory as a pair. Frequently one of their young from that year remains with them, and occasionally other juveniles from other places will join them. Rarely a young titmouse remains with its parents into the breeding season and will help them raise the next year’s brood.
  • Tufted Titmice hoard food in fall and winter, a behavior they share with many of their relatives, including the chickadees and tits. Titmice take advantage of a bird feeder’s bounty by storing many of the seeds they get. Usually, the storage sites are within 130 feet of the feeder. The birds take only one seed per trip and usually shell the seeds before hiding them.
  • Tufted Titmice nest in tree holes (and nest boxes), but they can’t excavate their own nest cavities. Instead, they use natural holes and cavities left by woodpeckers. These species’ dependence on dead wood for their homes is one reason why it’s important to allow dead trees to remain in forests rather than cutting them down.
  • Tufted Titmice often line the inner cup of their nest with hair, sometimes plucked directly from living animals. The list of hair types identified from old nests includes raccoons, opossums, mice, woodchucks, squirrels, rabbits, livestock, pets, and even humans.
  • The oldest known wild Tufted Titmouse was at least 13 years, 3 months old. It was banded in Virginia in 1962, and found in the same state in 1974.

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.

Kai at Richmond SPCA

Hi, I’m Kai! I am a super smart kitty who is great at solving puzzles, and will enjoy sneaking into your cabinets when you aren’t looking! I love to play, and I think bubbles are very fun. I also like to drink from the kitchen sink, and I am leash trained! If you are looking for a fun-loving, mischievous cat to make you laugh and smile and to take on scenic walks, please come meet me!

Age: 3 years, 2 months
Gender: Neutered Male
Color: Black / White
ID: 50170144

Adopt Kai at Richmond SPCA

Learn more about their adoption process.

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

Continue Reading