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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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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: 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: Floodwall
Common Name: American Kestrel
Scientific Name: Falco sparverius
Length: 8.7-12.2 in (22-31 cm)
Weight: 2.8-5.8 oz (80-165 g)
Wingspan: 20.1-24.0 in (51-61 cm)

Quick Facts Courtesy of Cornell Labs

  • Sports fans in some cities get an extra show during night games: kestrels perching on light standards or foul poles, tracking moths and other insects in the powerful stadium light beams and catching these snacks on the wing. Some of their hunting flights have even made it onto TV sports coverage.
  • When nature calls, nestling kestrels back up, raise their tails, and squirt feces onto the walls of the nest cavity. The feces dry on the cavity walls and stay off the nestlings. The nest gets to be a smelly place, with feces on the walls and uneaten parts of small animals on the floor.
  • It can be tough being one of the smallest birds of prey. Despite their fierce lifestyle, American Kestrels end up as prey for larger birds such as Northern Goshawks, Red-tailed Hawks, Barn Owls, American Crows, and Sharp-shinned and Cooper’s Hawks, as well as rat snakes, corn snakes, and even fire ants.
  • In winter in many southern parts of the range, female and male American Kestrels use different habitats. Females use the typical open habitat, and males use areas with more trees. This situation appears to be the result of the females migrating south first and establishing winter territories, leaving males to the more wooded areas.
  • Unlike humans, birds can see ultraviolet light. This enables kestrels to make out the trails of urine that voles, a common prey mammal, leave as they run along the ground. Like neon diner signs, these bright paths may highlight the way to a meal—as has been observed in the Eurasian Kestrel, a close relative.
  • Kestrels hide surplus kills in grass clumps, tree roots, bushes, fence posts, tree limbs, and cavities, to save the food for lean times or to hide it from thieves.
  • The oldest American Kestrel was a male and at least 14 years, 8 months old when he was found in Utah in 2001. He had been banded in the same state in 1987.

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.




Celeste at Richmond SPCA

 

Hi! My name is Celeste 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 Richmond SPCA adoption center to schedule a time to meet me!

Age: 9 years,
Gender: Spayed Female
Color: Tan / Black
Size: XL (dog size guide)
ID: 47501983

Adopt Celeste 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: Floodwall
Common Name: Common Raven
Scientific Name: Corvus corax
Length: 22.1-27.2 in (56-69 cm)
Weight: 24.3-57.3 oz (689-1625 g)
Wingspan: 45.7-46.5 in (116-118 cm)

Quick Facts from Cornell Lab

  • The Common Raven is an acrobatic flier, often doing rolls and somersaults in the air. One bird was seen flying upside down for more than a half-mile. Young birds are fond of playing games with sticks, repeatedly dropping them, then diving to catch them in midair.
  • Breeding pairs of Common Ravens hold territories and try to exclude all other ravens throughout the year. In winter, young ravens finding a carcass will call other ravens to the prize. They apparently do this to overwhelm the local territory owners by force of numbers to gain access to the food.
  • Common Ravens are smart, which makes them dangerous predators. They sometimes work in pairs to raid seabird colonies, with one bird distracting an incubating adult and the other waiting to grab an egg or chick as soon as it’s uncovered. They’ve been seen waiting in trees as ewes give birth, then attacking the newborn lambs.
  • They also use their intellect to put together cause and effect. A study in Wyoming discovered that during hunting season, the sound of a gunshot draws ravens in to investigate a presumed carcass, whereas the birds ignore sounds that are just as loud but harmless, such as an airhorn or a car door slamming.
  • People the world over sense a certain kind of personality in ravens. Edgar Allan Poe clearly found them a little creepy. The captive ravens at the Tower of London are beloved and perhaps a little feared: legend has it that if they ever leave the tower, the British Empire will crumble. Native people of the Pacific Northwest regard the raven as an incurable trickster, bringing fire to people by stealing it from the sun, and stealing salmon only to drop them in rivers all over the world.
  • Increasing raven populations threaten some vulnerable species including desert tortoises, Marbled Murrelets, and Least Terns. Ravens can cause trouble for people too. They’ve been implicated in causing power outages by contaminating insulators on power lines, fouling satellite dishes at the Goldstone Deep Space Site, peeling radar absorbent material off buildings at the Chinal Lake Naval Weapons center, pecking holes in airplane wings, stealing golf balls, opening campers’ tents, and raiding cars left open at parks.
  • Common Ravens can mimic the calls of other bird species. When raised in captivity, they can even imitate human words; one Common Raven raised from birth was taught to mimic the word “nevermore.”
  • The oldest known wild Common Raven was at least 22 years, 7 months old. It was banded and found in Nova Scotia.

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.




Crocus at Richmond SPCA

Age: 3 years,
Gender: Spayed Female
Color: Grey / White
Declawed: No
ID: 47475427

Adopt Crocus 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 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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