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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: 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.

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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.

Community

Critters of the Week

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

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Where Spotted: Wetlands
Common Name: American Redstart
Scientific Name: Setophaga ruticilla
Length: 4.3-5.1 in (11-13 cm)
Weight: 0.2-0.3 oz (6-9 g)
Wingspan: 6.3-7.5 in (16-19 cm)

Quick Facts Courtesy of Cornell Labs

  • Like the Painted Redstart and other “redstarts” of the Neotropics, the American Redstart flashes the bright patches in its tail and wings. This seems to startle insect prey and give the birds an opportunity to catch them. Though these birds share a common name, they are not closely related to each other. In fact, there are other unrelated birds around the world—such as the fantails of Australia and southeastern Asia, and other redstarts of Europe—that share the same foraging tricks.
  • Young male American Redstarts have gray-and-yellow plumage, like females, until their second fall. Yearling males sing vigorously in the attempt to hold territories and attract mates. Some succeed, but most do not breed successfully until the following year when they develop black-and-orange breeding plumage.
  • The male American Redstart sometimes has two mates at the same time. While many other polygamous bird species involve two females nesting in the same territory, the redstart holds two separate territories that can be separated by a quarter-mile. The male begins attracting a second female after the first has completed her clutch and is incubating the eggs.
  • The oldest American Redstart was at least 10 years and one month old, when he was recaptured and rereleased during a banding operation in Ontario.

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.

Funny Face at Richmond SPCA

Age: 4 years,
Gender: Spayed Female
Color: Grey / Apricot
ID: 51197499

Are you searching for a fun, friendly and adorable family member? My name is Funny Face 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?

Adopt Funny Face at Richmond SPCA

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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Community

Critters of the Week

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

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Where Spotted: Reedy Creek
Common Name: Orange Assassin Bug
Scientific Name: Pselliopus barberi
Length: 1/2 inch

Quick Facts

  • The assassin bugs are also known as bloodsuckers, kissing bugs, or coned nose bugs.
  • There are over 155 assassin bug species, and they are all similar by one specific characteristic, and that is, they are equipped with a pointed, curved mouth known as proboscis, which they use to stab and kill their prey, and also to defend themselves from predators.
  • These insects are highly predatory and spend most of their time hunting.
  • The diet of an orange assassin bug consists of caterpillars, insects, worms, houseflies, and other smaller bugs.

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.

Essence at Richmond SPCA

Age: 3 years, 1 month
Gender: Spayed Female
Color: Black / White
Size: L (dog size guide)
ID: 50903579

Hey duuude! My name is Essence and I think it would be totally rad if we became best buds! I am one cool pup with an awesome personality and I know I’d make a great addition to your family. I love playing with stuffed toys but I’m not all fun and games, I’m also a pretty smart gal. I dig treats and already know how to sit and lie down for one. If you’re ready for one far out adventure, you’ve gotta come meet me today!

Adopt Essence at Richmond SPCA

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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Community

Critters of the Week

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

Published

on

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Where Spotted: Climbing Wall and Pony Pasture
Common Name: Hentz Orbweaver (I’m pretty sure on this id but could be wrong)
Scientific Name:Nescona crucifera
Length:  Females are 0.37-0.74 inches (9.3-19 mm) and males are slightly smaller

  • Hentz orbweavers are also known as spotted orbweavers because of two distinct white spots they have on the underside of their abdomen, and the “crucifer” portion of their Latin name is due to the embossed cross-shape they have on the top side of their abdomen. (Not seen very well in my photos.)
  • The Arboreal Orbweaver/Hentz Orbweaver (Nescona crucifera) is primarily a nocturnal species and it rebuilds its web every night. However, adult females have been known to leave their webs up and hunt throughout the day.
  • This spider has one of the widest color and modeling pattern variations of any spider species.
  • The Arboreal Orbweaver is mostly found in the eastern portion of the U.S. but its southern range extends west to California.
  • The orb portion of the web may be nearly 2 feet in diameter.

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.

Twizzler at Richmond SPCA

Hello friends, my name is Twizzler and I’m here to find a family of my very own. I haven’t always known the comfort of a home and I think the world is a pretty scary place at times. I need someone special like you to show me plenty of patience and kindness to help me overcome my fears and gain confidence. If you think that you can show me the devotion I deserve, then won’t you please be my hero and ask about adopting me today?

Age: 8 years, 1 month
Gender: Neutered Male
Color: Buff
ID: 50949987

Adopt Twizzler 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