What Is an Owl Pellet?
Because owls don't have teeth, they swallow their prey whole or in large chunks. The owl digests what it can use (the meat and other tissue) and then regurgitates the bones, teeth, fur, feathers, and other indigestible parts in a compressed pellet. By dissecting the pellet, you can see what the owl ate.
John Muir Pellet Study
The study of Eleanor's pellets will be conducted this spring by students at the John Muir School in Ashland under the supervision of Marcia Ososke. John Muir is a magnet school focusing on natural science and the arts. The school utilizes outdoor community sites, where children study local ecosystems and learn the skills of primary research, observation, inquiry, and concept synthesis as they hike, listen, watch, discuss, draw, and write in journals.
Eleanor's pellets are being collected daily, dated, and frozen. The study will commence once the weather's warm enough to thaw and dry the pellets naturally.
Please check back later this spring to find out exactly what Eleanor's been eating!
To do a virtual Barred Owl pellet dissection, go to KidWings.com.
For more about owl pellets, check out the Owl Pages.
For student protocols, visit Math/Science Nucleas.org, KidWings.com, and Gander Academy's Owls Theme Page.