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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: Common Eastern Bumblebee
Scientific Name: Bombus impatiens
Average Length: 0.35 in to 0.82 in (9 mm – 21 mm)

Quick Facts (iNaturalist)

  • The common eastern bumble bee can be found throughout the east coast from Maine to Florida and west through Ohio.
  • They have underground nests that are 1–3 feet below the ground surface.
  • Unlike the nests of honeybees or paper wasps, the nests do not have a predictable pattern. The bees lay egg clumps all over inside the nest instead of having one brood area around which the workers’ distribution center is arranged.
  • Colonies use a strategy called traplining, in which the bees visit their food sources in a repeatable sequence, to improve their efficiency, especially in an unfamiliar environment.
  • To create honey, the bees consume the pollen and the nectar, and then regurgitate them, mixing them with enzymes in their stomachs. The honey is stored and used as a winter food source.

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.

Nugget at Richmond SPCA

There’s a diamond in the ruff, uniquely set in this golden boy Nugget.

He’s still a work in progress who looks to his person for confidence and reassurance. Although he came to us not knowing much about the big, sometimes scary world, he’s come to love car rides, learned the cues for sit and down, and developed leash manners. Nugget has been building on positive experiences with other dogs and does really well on buddy walks.

He’s looking for an adult-only home with a patient person who will help him continue to learn and explore.

Age: 5 years, 5 months
Gender: Neutered Male
Color: Black / Blue
Size: L (dog size guide)
ID: 44013649

Adopt Nugget 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: 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.

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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

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: Tuckahoe Creek Park
Common Name: Great Egret
Scientific Name: Ardea alba
Length:Ca 37.0-40.9 in (94-104 cm)
Weight: 35.3 oz (1000 g)
Wingspan: 51.6-57.1 in (131-145 cm)

Quick Facts (Courtesy of The Cornell Lab)

  • The Great Egret is the symbol of the National Audubon Society, one of the oldest environmental organizations in North America. Audubon was founded to protect birds from being killed for their feathers.
  • Not all young that hatch survive the nestling period. Aggression among nestlings is common and large chicks frequently kill their smaller siblings. This behavior, known as siblicide, is not uncommon among birds such as hawks, owls, and herons, and is often a result of poor breeding conditions in a given year.
  • The pristinely white Great Egret gets even more dressed up for the breeding season. A patch of skin on its face turns neon green, and long plumes grow from its back. Called aigrettes, those plumes were the bane of egrets in the late nineteenth century, when such adornments were prized for ladies’ hats.
  • In mixed-species colonies, Great Egrets are often the first species to arrive, and their presence may induce nesting among other species.
  • Great Egrets fly slowly but powerfully: with just two wingbeats per second their cruising speed is around 25 miles an hour.

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.

Shrek at Richmond SPCA

Are you searching for a fun, friendly and adorable family member? My name is Shrek 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: 1 year, 1 month
Gender: Neutered Male
Color: Black / Brown
Size: L (dog size guide)
ID: 51107178

Adopt Shrek 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