Daily Schedule

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Owl Pellets

The students were so excited to get to the end of the day - it was the time on our daily schedule labeled "What's in YOUR pellet?" After our nature walk with Faye where we saw the skins of a shrew, a mouse, and a vole - we knew that we may find some of the remains of these animals in our pellets.

Some of the children had a natural "Oh YUCK!" attitude when they first saw the pellets. We talked about how it was not owl poop, but rather the regurgitated clump coughed up by owls - the fur and bones that they could not digest. Also, the pellets were purchased at a science materials facility where they were put through a sterilization process. Nice, clean owl puke. After a few moments, each and every student got thoroughly excited and invested in the process.

As we expected, we found mostly vole remains. We had learned earlier that voles make up an astonishing 85% of the barn owl's diet. Some lucky children found multiple skulls in their pellet - others found mostly fur and other smaller bones. We used an identification chart to identify as many bones as possible.

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