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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: Pipeline
Common Name: Prothonotary Warbler
Scientific Name: Protonotaria citrea
Length: 13 cm (5.1 in)
Weight: 12.5 g (0.44 oz)
Wingspan: 22 cm (8.75 in)

Quick Facts Courtesy of Cornell Lab

  • Most warblers nest either on the ground, in shrubs, or in trees, but the Prothonotary Warbler and the Lucy’s Warbler build their nests in holes in standing dead trees. They may also use nest boxes when available.
  • The Prothonotary Warbler got its name from the bright yellow robes worn by papal clerks, known as prothonotaries, in the Roman Catholic church.
  • The Prothonotary Warbler had its day in court during the Cold War. In 1948 Alger Hiss an American government official was accused of being a soviet spy. Part of the trial hinged on whether Hiss knew Whittaker Chambers, a former member of the U.S. Communist Party. Chambers claimed that he talked to Hiss about watching birds and reported Hiss’s excitement about seeing a Prothonotary Warbler on the Potomac River. This bird sighting linked the two people and eventually led to Hiss’s sentence and to the rise of Richard Nixon to political power.
  • For Prothonotary Warblers it pays to be bright. Males that are brighter yellow gain access to better nest sites than less colorful males, according to a study conducted in Louisiana.
  • The oldest recorded Prothonotary Warbler was a male, and at least 8 years, 1 month old when he was identified by his band in Ontario in 2005. He had been banded in the same area in 1999.

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.




Mr. Brown Dog at Richmond SPCA

Hi! My name is Mr Brown Dog, I guess I have this name because well I am truly a brownish canine. That aside, I have been told that I am a very sweet boy but you could come here and see for yourself. If your lap is available I am more than happy to amble right on over. I do have a confession to make, I want ALL of the attention so I really need to be the only dog in the home. If I have piqued your interest please call the adoption staff at 804-521-1307 and learn all about me. Thanks so much, woof woof!

Age: 2 years, 3 months
Gender: Neutered Male
Color: Black / Chocolate
Size: L (dog size guide)
ID: 46626127

Adopt Brown Dog 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 further afield and a critter up for adoption by Richmond SPCA.

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Where Spotted: Monkey Island (on the border of Virginia and North Carolina)
Common Name: Cattle Egret
Scientific Name: Bubulcus ibis
Length: 18.1-22.1 in (46-56 cm)
Weight: 9.5-18.1 oz (270-512 g)
Wingspan: 34.6-37.8 in (88-96 cm)

Quick Facts Courtesy of Cornell Labs

  • Cattle Egrets are native to Africa but somehow reached northeastern South America in 1877. They continued to spread, arriving in the United States in 1941 and nesting there by 1953. In the next 50 years they became one of the most abundant of the North American herons, showing up as far north as Alaska and Newfoundland.
  • Cattle Egrets follow large animals or machines and eat invertebrates stirred up from the ground. They will fly toward smoke from long distances away, to catch insects fleeing a fire.
  • The Cattle Egret has a broad and flexible diet that occasionally includes other birds. In the Dry Tortugas off the coast of Florida, migrating Cattle Egrets have been seen hunting migrating warblers.
  • Cattle Egrets have many names around the world, usually referencing the grazing animals they team up with to forage. In various languages they are known as cow cranes, cow herons, cow birds, elephant birds, rhinoceros egrets, and hippopotamus egrets.
  • The oldest Cattle Egret on record was at least 17 years old when it was captured and released in Pennsylvania in 1979. It had been banded in Maryland in 1962.

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.




Fluffy at Richmond SPCA

ALL FLUFF, ALL ENERGY, ALL GLORY. My name is Fluffy and as you can see I am a very handsome cloud of hair. Despite my A-List star appearance, I’m actually a pretty nervous guy who will need a home that will be patient and understanding with me as I learn the ropes of being in a home. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE attention and partying with my friends… I just need some time to get there. If you are interested in learning more about me, visit our adoption center or give us a call at (804)521-1307.

Age: 3 years, 3 months
Gender: Neutered Male
Color: Black / Brown
Size: L (dog size guide)
ID: 46843010

Adopt Fluffy at Richmond SPCA

Learn more about their adoption 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: Lake Harrison
Common Name: Tree Swallow
Scientific Name: Tachycineta bicolor
Length: 4.7-5.9 in (12-15 cm)
Weight: 0.6-0.9 oz (16-25 g)
Wingspan: 11.8-13.8 in (30-35 cm)

Quick Facts Courtesy of Cornell Labs

  • Migrating and wintering Tree Swallows can form enormous flocks numbering in the hundreds of thousands. They gather about an hour before sunset and form a dense cloud above a roost site (such as a cattail marsh or grove of small trees), swirling around like a living tornado. With each pass, more birds drop down until they are all settled on the roost.
  • Tree Swallows winter farther north than any other American swallows and return to their nesting grounds long before other swallows come back. They can eat plant foods as well as their normal insect prey, which helps them survive the cold snaps and wintry weather of early spring.
  • The Tree Swallow—which is most often seen in open, treeless areas—gets its name from its habit of nesting in tree cavities. They also take readily to nest boxes.
  • Tree Swallows have helped researchers make major advances in several branches of ecology, and they are among the best-studied bird species in North America. Still, we know little about their lives during migration and winter.
  • The oldest Tree Swallow on record was at least 12 years, 1 month old when it was recaptured and released during banding operations in Ontario in 1998.

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.




Adopt Wanda at Richmond SPCA

Hi everyone! My name is Wanda. I love people and affection. I even wag my tail like a dog when I am happy. Please come visit me and possibly take me home!

Age: 4 years,
Gender: Spayed Female
Color: Brown
Declawed: No
ID: 47833868

Adopt Wanda at Richmond SPCA

Learn more about their adoption 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 Richmond SPCA.

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on

This is the 100th posting of Critters of the Week. I hope you’ve enjoyed the posts and of course all the critters.

Where Spotted: Monkey Island (on the border of Virginia and North Carolina) One was spotted at Tuckahoe Creek Park earlier this year.
Common Name: Little Blue Heron
Scientific Name: Egretta caerulea
Length: 22.1-29.1 in (56-74 cm)
Weight: 10.4-14.5 oz (296-412 g)
Wingspan: 39.4-41.3 in (100-105 cm)

Quick Facts Courtesy of Cornell Labs

  • During the feathered-hat fashion craze of the early twentieth century, Little Blue Herons’ lack of showy “aigrette plumes” saved them from the hunting frenzy that decimated other heron and egret populations.
  • Little Blue Herons may gain a survival advantage by wearing white during their first year of life. Immature birds are likelier than their blue elders to be tolerated by Snowy Egrets—and in the egrets’ company, they catch more fish. Mingling in mixed-species flocks of white herons, immature Little Blue Herons probably also acquire extra protection against predators.
  • With their patchy white-and-blue appearance, Little Blue Herons in transition from the white first-year stage to blue adult plumage are often referred to as “Calico,” “Pied,” or “Piebald.”
  • When observing groups of white herons and egrets foraging together, look for the slow, deliberate movements of an immature Little Blue Heron. This stately and deliberate pace helps distinguish the Little Blue Heron from its relatives, which tend to move more quickly or erratically.
  • A row of built-in “teeth” along the Little Blue Heron’s middle toe serves as a grooming comb. The bird uses this handy tool to scratch its head, neck, and throat.
  • The oldest known Little Blue Heron was at least 13 years, 11 months old. It was banded in 1957 in Virginia, and found in Maryland in 1971.

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.




Ivory at Richmond SPCA

Ivory is an adorable girl that is looking for just the right home and environment for her. If you’re interested in learning more about Ivory please contact the Richmond SPCA adoption center at 804-521-1307 or visit our humane center to meet with an adoption counselor and Ivory.

Age: 2 years, 1 month
Gender: Spayed Female
Color: Tan / Black
Size: L (dog size guide)
ID: 47640525

Adopt Ivory at Richmond SPCA

Learn more about their adoption process.

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