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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: Westover Hills
Common Name: Eastern Chipmunk
Scientific Name: Tamias striatus
Length: 8-12 inches in length including the tail (the one pictured was considerably smaller)
Weight: 2.3-4.5 oz

Quick Facts

  • The name “chipmunk” comes from the Ojibwe word ajidamoo (or possibly ajidamoonh, the same word in the Ottawa dialect of Ojibwe), which translates literally as “one who descends trees headlong.”
  • The eastern chipmunk defends its burrow and lives a solitary life, except during mating season.
  • To hide the construction of its burrow, the eastern chipmunk carries soil to a different location in its cheek pouches.
  • It can climb trees well, but constructs underground nests with extensive tunnel systems, often with several entrances.

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.

Shelby at Richmond SPCA

Are you searching for a fun, friendly and adorable family member? My name is Shelby 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: 1 year, 9 months
Gender: Spayed Female
Color: Brindle / White
Size: M (dog size guide)
ID: 48952435

Adopt Shelby 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.

Critters of the Week

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: Tuckahoe Creek Park
Common Name: Winter Wren
Scientific Name: Troglodytes hiemalis
Length: 3.1-4.7 in (8-12 cm)
Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz (8-12 g)
Wingspan: 4.7-6.3 in (12-16 cm)

Quick Facts from Cornell Lab

  • Per unit weight, the Winter Wren delivers its song with 10 times more power than a crowing rooster.
  • The Winter Wren is almost identical to the Pacific Wren and Eurasian Wren, and the three were considered the same species until 2010. Genetic and other evidence prompted researchers to split them into the Pacific Wren of western North America, the Winter Wren of eastern North America, and the Eurasian Wren of the Old World.
  • Where the ranges of the Pacific Wren and Winter Wren come together, in British Columbia, the two almost identical species sing different songs. The males battle each other, but the females seem to choose only mates that sing “their” song—keeping interbreeding to a minimum. Find out more in Living Bird magazine.
  • The Americas are the land of the wren: more than 80 species live in North and South America, but only one wren occurs in the rest of the world (the Eurasian Wren).
  • The oldest recorded Winter Wren was a female and at least 6 years, 6 months old, when she was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in California in 2009. She had been banded in the same state in 2003.
  • Male Winter Wrens build multiple nests within their territory. During courtship, males lead the female around to each nest and the female chooses which nest to use.

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.

Gayle at Richmond SPCA

Age: 8 years, 1 month
Gender: Spayed Female
Color: Red
Size: L (dog size guide)
ID: 51418700

Are you searching for a fun, friendly and adorable family member? My name is Gayle 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 Gayle 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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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: Tuckahoe Creek Park
Common Name: Pie-billed Grebe
Scientific Name: Podilymbus podiceps
Length: 11.8-15.0 in (30-38 cm)
Weight: 8.9-20.0 oz (253-568 g)
Wingspan: 17.7-24.4 in (45-62 cm)

Quick Facts Courtesy of Cornell Lab

  • The Latin genus name for “grebe” means “feet at the buttocks”—an apt descriptor for these birds, whose feet are indeed located near their rear ends. This body plan, a common feature of many diving birds, helps grebes propel themselves through water. Lobed (not webbed) toes further assist with swimming. Pied-billed Grebes pay for their aquatic prowess on land, where they walk awkwardly.
  • Pied-billed Grebe chicks typically leave the nest the first day after hatching and spend much of their first week riding around on a parent’s back. They usually spend most of their first 3 weeks on or near the nest platform.
  • Pied-billed Grebes are fairly poor fliers and typically stay on the water—although rare individuals have managed to fly as far as the Hawaiian Islands, Europe, the Azores, and the Canary Islands.
  • Pied-billed Grebes can trap water in their feathers, giving them great control over their buoyancy. They can sink deeply or stay just at or below the surface, exposing as much or as little of the body as they wish. The water-trapping ability may also aid in the pursuit of prey by reducing drag in turbulent water.
  • Like other grebes, the Pied-billed Grebe eats large quantities of its own feathers. Feathers may at times fill up more than half of a grebe’s stomach, and they are sometimes fed to newly hatched chicks. The ingested plumage appears to form a sieve-like plug that prevents hard, potentially harmful prey parts from passing into the intestine, and it helps form indigestible items into pellets which they can regurgitate.
  • When in danger, Pied-billed Grebes sometimes make a dramatic “crash-dive” to get away. A crash-diving grebe pushes its body down with its wings thrust outward. Its tail and head disappears last, while the bird kicks water several feet into the air.
  • The longest-lived Pied-billed Grebe on record was at least 4 years, 7 months old and lived in California.

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.

Bonus Black Bear Picture from Alligator Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina



Florence at Richmond SPCA

Hey duuude! My name is Florence 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 for one. If you’re ready for one far out adventure, you’ve gotta come meet me today!

Age: 3 years, 10 months
Gender: Spayed Female
Color: Black / White
Size: M (dog size guide)
ID: 49334729

Adopt Florence 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: Wetlands
Common Name: Woodland Box Turtle
Scientific Name: Terrapene carolina carolina
Length:  4.5 – 6 in. (11.5 – 15.2 cm)

Quick Facts (Virginia Herpetological Society)

  • Woodland Box Turtles are omnivores, anything from fruit to salamanders.
  • Another common name in Virginia is the dryland terrapin.
  • An adult male with the date 1874 carved in its plastron was found in Rockingham County in August 1985 (Daily News Record, Harrisonburg), indicating an age of >111 years.
  • The largest individuals in Virginia are from the southern Blue Ridge Mountains in Floyd County.
  • Box turtles from Ohio can tolerate freezing of as much as 58% of their body water and remain frozen for as long as 3 days without injury.

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.

Sriracha at Richmond SPCA

Well hello there! My name is Sriracha and I’m looking for my purrfect home! I’m a bigger lady who loves head scratches and sun bathing. My heart is as big as my face is squishy! Come visit me at the Richmond SPCA adoption center today and fall in love!

Age: 12 years,
Gender: Spayed Female
Color: White / Orange
ID: 51179740

Adopt Sriracha 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.

Continue Reading