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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Owl Pellets - Learning about the Food Chain

At Howell Nature Center, we learned about different types of owls, and got to see several varieties up close. It was a real treat - I really am a big fan of owls. Beautiful and unusual creatures! Two owls we saw were the Barred Owl and the Barn Owl. One of the things we learned is that the call of the Barred Owl sounds like, "Who Cooks for You", so this poem seems very appropriate. We read it today, and talked about what it meant.

We also learned that the Barn Owl is a very useful creature to have in your barn, handily taking care of many of the critters that eat the grain - mice, voles, etc.

Each child got a pellet of a Barn Owl to dissect. It was so exciting to find the different bones, and skulls were particularly thrilling! We leaned the voles make up most of the owls diet, although we found other types of bones and feathers as well.

Without further ado, here is the poem and a few pictures of the activity:

A Barred Owl

BY RICHARD WILBUR
The warping night air having brought the boom
Of an owl’s voice into her darkened room,
We tell the wakened child that all she heard
Was an odd question from a forest bird,
Asking of us, if rightly listened to,
“Who cooks for you?” and then “Who cooks for you?”

Words, which can make our terrors bravely clear,
Can also thus domesticate a fear,
And send a small child back to sleep at night
Not listening for the sound of stealthy flight
Or dreaming of some small thing in a claw
Borne up to some dark branch and eaten raw.






1 comment:

Odie Langley said...

Susan, I read these posts and sit here wishing that we had had the chance to do exciting things like using pellets to find out about the food chain. It is already and awesome year for your children. Can't wait to read more.
Odie