Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Owl Pellets

We were given the opportunity to order free owl pellets. (Thanks, Michele, for the tip!)

NOTE - I get a LOT of hits on this post from people googling "free owl pellets". :-) The result just below mine in your google search is this one. Try that for your no-cost owl pellets. Updated March 2010 - I've been told this is no longer an option for free owl pellets, at least not in most cases.]

Did you know owl pellet dissection kits sell for about $20? I saw them at the Nature Center.

If you'd like to try a NO-MESS owl pellet dissection, here is a GREAT website. I've written a whole blog post about it - HERE.

When the pellets arrived, I put them aside for a rainy day - and today was the day! David was busy with another project (his Mandalorian armor) so the pellet dissection kept Suzy, James, and Emily busy for an hour or so on Tuesday.

First they measured their pellets and then soaked them in warm water. Em's and Suzy's got very gooey right away - lots of fur in theirs. James was larger and harder - more bones.

They used toothpicks and tweezers to pick apart the pellets. Once they were soaked, they came apart easily but many bones were very small.

These facial expressions were quite involuntary! LOL

This is a skull that James found in his pellet. He is holding on to the long orange teeth.

Here are the bones they were able to glean from the pellets. We dumped the wet fur - nothing quite so nasty as wet fur, especially when it's been regurgitated, dessicated, disinfected, and rehydrated. lol I think once they're dry, I'll have the kids glue them to cardboard and then they can write in some labels of what they are.

I should have taken a picture of the dry pellets. I do have one left for David, so maybe I can photograph that. I really thought he'd see the cool things they were finding and want to join in, but his spray painting and plexiglass was apparently far more intriguing.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you took advantage of the free offer! Our box is waiting for just the right day!


Wee Pip said...

love the facial expressions! A picture speaks a thousand words:)

Anonymous said...

Their faces looked just like mine when I read this-EWWWW! Good learnig experience tho!

I think I will pass on the pellet picking-


Lori said...

We did owl pellets last year and it was a lot of fun. I also like your sta-cation idea. We did this for Memorial day and ended up putting the tent in the living room because of crazy weather. There are pics on our blog you can check out. You just have to scroll back to may. I will have to see if I can find the Backyard Adventure book.

Anonymous said...

I would love more informaion on how to get free owl pellets for homeschooling and cub scouts. Thanks, Becky

Anonymous said...

Hello, I would love to have some more information on how to recieve free owl pellets, my email address is missyc23@comcast.net. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I teach life science at a christian school with a limited budget. I was wondering about the free owl pellets. My email is bwilliams@ncaknights.com Thanks for the information

Anonymous said...

I am teaching 4th grade at a low income school and love to give my students the opportunity!!!

Anonymous said...

I love that you posted the photos of your children working with the pellets! Priceless!

I would love more information on how you were able to get free owl pellets. My email address is: arlalittle@roadrunner.com. Thanks so much!

Molly said...

I would like the information about the free owl pellets. celticlullabye@gmail.com

Tammy Craig said...

If you could provide me with information, I would greatly appreciate it! I teach at a small Christian school in Florida, and this seems like something my eighth graders would love to do, lol! Thank you so much!