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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: Pipeline
Common Name: Northern Mockingbird
Scientific Name: Mimus polyglottos
Length: 8.3-10.2 in (21-26 cm)
Weight: 1.6-2.0 oz (45-58 g)
Wingspan: 12.2-13.8 in (31-35 cm)

Quick Facts Courtesy of Cornell Labs

  • It’s not just other mockingbirds that appreciate a good song. In the nineteenth century, people kept so many mockingbirds as cage birds that the birds nearly vanished from parts of the East Coast. People took nestlings out of nests or trapped adults and sold them in cities such as Philadelphia, St. Louis, and New York, where, in 1828, extraordinary singers could fetch as much as $50.
  • Northern Mockingbirds continue to add new sounds to their repertoires throughout their lives. A male may learn around 200 songs throughout its life.
  • The Northern Mockingbird frequently gives a “wing flash” display, where it half or fully opens its wings in jerky intermediate steps, showing off the big white patches. No one knows why it does this, but it may startle insects, making them easier to catch. On the other hand, it doesn’t often seem to be successful, and different mockingbird species do this same display even though they don’t have white wing patches.
  • Northern Mockingbirds sing all through the day, and often into the night. Most nocturnal singers are unmated males, which sing more than mated males during the day, too. Nighttime singing is more common during the full moon.
  • Northern Mockingbirds typically sing from February through August, and again from September to early November. A male may have two distinct repertoires of songs: one for spring and another for fall.
  • The female Northern Mockingbird sings too, although usually more quietly than the male does. She rarely sings in the summer, and usually only when the male is away from the territory. She sings more in the fall, perhaps to establish a winter territory.
  • The oldest Northern Mockingbird on record was at least 14 years, 10 months old when it was found in Texas.

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.




Scrumpo at Richmond SPCA

Are you searching for a fun, friendly and adorable family member? My name is Scrumpo 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: 8 years, 1 month
Gender: Spayed Female
Color: Grey / White
ID: 50120924

Adopt Scrumpo 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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