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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.

 

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.

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 SPCA.

Published

on

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.

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

Critters of the Week

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

Published

on

Immature Green Heron

Where Spotted: Various Locations
Common Name: Green Heron
Scientific Name: Butorides virescens
Length: 16.1-18.1 in (41-46 cm)
Weight: 8.5 oz (240 g)
Wingspan: 25.2-26.8 in (64-68 cm)

Quick Facts (Courtesy of Cornell Labs)

  • The Green Heron is part of a complex of small herons that sometimes are considered one species. When lumped, they are called Green-backed Heron. When split, they are the Green Heron, the widespread Striated Heron, and the Galapagos Heron.
  • The Green Heron is one of the world’s few tool-using bird species. It often creates fishing lures with bread crusts, insects, and feathers, dropping them on the surface of the water to entice small fish.
  • Green Herons usually hunt by wading in shallow water, but occasionally they dive for deep-water prey and need to swim back to shore—probably with help from the webs between their middle and outer toes. One juvenile heron was seen swimming gracefully for more than 60 feet, sitting upright “like a little swan,” according to one observer.
  • Like many herons, the Green Heron tends to wander outside of its breeding range after the nesting season is over. Most of the wanderers stay nearby as they search for good feeding habitat, but some travel long distances. Individuals have turned up as far away as England and France.
  • The oldest Green Heron on record was at least 7 years, 11 months old when it was found in Mexico in 1979. It had been banded in Oklahoma in 1971.

Peggy at Richmond SPCA

 

My name is Peggy and let me tell you, this ol’ gal has still got it! The pep in my step will leave even the youngsters in the dust. I’m a sweet lady with a flair for the dramatic and a knack for keeping people on their toes.

Peggy is looking for just the right home and environment for her. If you’re interested in learning more about Peggy please visit the Richmond SPCA adoption center or give us a call at 804-521-1307.

Age: 9 years, 9 months
Gender: Spayed Female
Color: White / Tan
Size: L (dog size guide)
ID: 45648298

Adopt Peggy 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

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.

Published

on

Where Spotted: Between Nickel Bridge and Reedy Creek
Common Name: American Rubyspot Damselfly
Scientific Name: Lithobates clamitans
Length: 3.8-4.6 cm

Quick Facts

  • Males have a lustrous red head and thorax. The abdomen of both genders is brilliant green.The female may have either green or copper-colored marks on the thorax.
  • The name highlights this damselfly’s status as the most widespread of the North American rubyspots. It is reported from all of the lower 48 US states except Washington and Idaho, and is also found in Mexico and southern and eastern Canada.
  • American Rubyspots prefer habitats of open, clear streams and rivers with moderate to rapid flow and emergent and shoreline vegetation.
  • The distinctive red spots on the wings of male American Rubyspots continually increase in size throughout the life of an individual. These larger spots apparently lead to more success at holding a territory. However, these same individuals are apparently less successful at hunting.
  • Females rubyspots are conspicuously present at breeding sites and are often seen with males; unusual for damselflies. No courtship exists with this species, rather males simply grab females and copulation is brief.

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.

[wpedon id=”165378″]

Temmie at Richmond SPCA

Hi, I’m Temmie! I can be a little shy at first but with some time I can be brave! I am looking for a home where I will be given all the love (and treats) that I deserve! Ask to meet me today!

Age: 7 years,
Gender: Neutered Male
Color: Brown / Black
ID: 50536505

Adopt Temmie 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