Thursday, 6 March 2008

nature club: dissecting owl pellets


lining up the finds , originally uploaded by Emma Bradshaw.

Owl pellets are what owls regurgitate after feeding and are compacted full of bones and fur of mice, voles, shrew, moles and even rats! They are great for understanding about owls and their diet and also the abundance of their food source the small mammals in the area.

Pete brought three home for Alfie and I to dissect and try to work out what the barn owl had eaten! I thought for a four year old he wouldn't be patient and delicate enough to manage it, but for an hour (a very long time for Alfie) he sat and carefully prized apart the pellets to reveal skulls and bones and even matched them up against an ID sheet too! He found loads more than I did! A budding ecologist in the making.

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