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Critter of the Week

Critters of the Week

A wild critter we spotted in the RVA area or a little further afield and a critter up for adoption by Richmond SPCA.

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Whales were spotted on a Rudee’s Whale Tour and the Responsible Code of Conduct for Whale Watching was followed. Look for a write-up of our trip next week.

Where Spotted: 6 Miles off the coast of Virginia Beach
Common Name: Humpback Whale
Scientific Name: Megaptera novaeangliae
Length: 12–16 m (39–52 ft)
Weight: 25–30 t (28–33 short tons

Quick Facts

  • Found in oceans and seas around the world, humpback whales typically migrate up to 25,000 km (16,000 mi) each year. Virginia Beach is on their route during the months of December, January, and February.
  • Like other large whales, the humpback was a target for the whaling industry. The species was once hunted to the brink of extinction; its population fell by an estimated 90% before a 1966 moratorium.
  • The varying patterns on the tail flukes distinguish individual animals. Identification is done by comparing the amount of white vs black and scars on the fluke. The humpback whales are then given a catalogue number.
  • Thin, parallel scars are from the killer whale’s teeth, and are known as “rake marks.” The circular scars on the flukes are from barnacles, which embed themselves into the whale’s skin.
  • Instead of teeth, this filter-feeder has baleen plates that overlap to form a dense net used to strain millions of small shrimp-like animals.
  • Humpbacks may work as a team when hunting for schooling fish. Once underwater, several humpbacks encircle the fish with a “bubble net”— a ring of bubbles blown from their blowholes. Others position themselves beneath the school and then rise, forcing the fish toward the surface. The humpbacks then lunge up through the concentrated school of fish, feasting on thousands of prey in a single gulp with their cavernous mouths.
  • Killer whales are known to prey on both calves and adult humpback whales.
  • At birth, a calf can measure up to 15 feet (4.6 m) long and weigh about 1,500 pounds (680 kg).

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.




Seafoam at Richmond SPCA

Hi there, who are you? My name is Seafoam and I really hope you’re my new family! Even though the people here at the Richmond SPCA are very nice, it’s still not the same as having a home to call my own. Won’t you please make me the happiest girl around by adopting me today?!

Age: 2 years,
Gender: Spayed Female
Color: Grey / White
ID: 49283891

Adopt Finnegan at Richmond SPCA

Learn more about their adoption 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 SPCA.

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Where Spotted: T-Pott Bridge
Common Name: Red-eared Slider
Scientific Name: Trachemys scripta elegans
Average Length: 5-8 in. (12.5 – 20.3 cm)

Quick Facts Courtesy of Virginia Herpetological Society

  • The most distinguishing characteristic for this species is an elongated, broad red stripe behind the eyes. This is fainter in females and may be completely obscured in hatchlings.
  • Mating will occur in any season but summer. Nesting probably occurs April-July.
  • Sliders in general are frequent baskers who pile on top of each other if “hauling out” sites are few. They are very wary and will slide into the water at the slightest provacation.
  • As adults they eat aquatic vegetation and some aquatic invertebrates, tadpoles and small fish. Juveniles are entirely carnivorous.
  • This species is introduced but is considered naturalized. It was sold widely in pet stores and most populations originated from pet turtles that were released. It is a native of the Midwest.

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

Are you searching for a fun, friendly and adorable family member? My name is Kai and I’m the guy 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 years, 1 month
Gender: Neutered Male
Color: Black / White
ID: 50170144

 

Adopt Kai at Richmond SPCA

Learn more about their adoption process.

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Critter of the Week

Critters of the Week

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Where Spotted: Westover Hills
Common Name: Northern Crab Spider (pretty sure it’s a Crab Spider but might be a different species)
Scientific Name: Mecaphesa asperata
Length: 3.3 mm (the one pictured was smaller)

Quick Facts

  • Crab spider is a type of spider that belongs to the family Thomisidae. There are more than 2.000 species of crab spiders that can be found around the world.
  • Crab spiders are able to change the color of their body to blend with the colors of their environment. This can take up to 20 days to change colors.
  • Crab spiders are diurnal animals (active during the day).
  • Crab spiders hunt and eat insects that visit flowers to feed on nectar.
  • Crab spiders have a wide, flattened body and 4 pairs of legs. The first pair of legs is longer and better developed compared to the other legs. Crab spiders have 8 eyes and the ability to see in all directions. Males have a more slender body and longer legs.

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.




Sherlock Bones at Richmond SPCA

 

Are you searching for a fun, friendly and adorable family member? My name is Sherlock Bones and I’m the guy 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: 7 years, 1 month
Gender: Neutered Male
Color: Black / White
Size: L (dog size guide)
ID: 50251747

Adopt Sherlock Bones 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 SPCA.

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Where Spotted: Westover Hills
Common Name: House Finch
Scientific Name: Haemorhous mexicanus
Length: 5.1-5.5 in (13-14 cm)
Weight: 0.6-0.9 oz (16-27 g)
Wingspan: 7.9-9.8 in (20-25 cm)

Quick Facts Courtesy of Cornell Labs

  • The House Finch was originally a bird of the western United States and Mexico. In 1940 a small number of finches were turned loose on Long Island, New York, after failed attempts to sell them as cage birds (“Hollywood finches”). They quickly started breeding and spread across almost all of the eastern United States and southern Canada within the next 50 years.
  • House Finches were introduced to Oahu from San Francisco sometime before 1870. They had become abundant on all the major Hawaiian Islands by 1901.
  • The red of a male House Finch comes from pigments contained in its food during molt (birds can’t make bright red or yellow colors directly). So the more pigment in the food, the redder the male. This is why people sometimes see orange or yellowish male House Finches. Females prefer to mate with the reddest male they can find, perhaps raising the chances they get a capable mate who can do his part in feeding the nestlings.
  • House Finches feed their nestlings exclusively plant foods, a fairly rare occurrence in the bird world. Many birds that are vegetarians as adults still find animal foods to keep their fast-growing young supplied with protein.
  • The oldest known House Finch was a female, and at least 11 years, 7 months old when she was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in New York in 1985, the same state where she had been banded in 1973.

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.




Lark at Richmond SPCA

Are you searching for a fun, friendly and adorable family member? My name is Lark 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: 10 years, 2 months
Gender: Spayed Female
Color: Orange / Black
ID: 16271399

Adopt Lark at Richmond SPCA

Learn more about their adoption process.

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