September 12

Owl Pellets

Dissecting owl pellets is always a favorite lab! It’s a treasure hunt!

Owls eat their prey whole. Since birds don’t have teeth, they can’t chew their food. The owl slowly digests its meal by separating the softer materials (such as meat) from the harder materials (such as bones, claws, and teeth). It then regurgitates the indigestible items in a pellet. An owl pellet can provide important clues to how an owl lives and which rodents habitat an area.

We used forceps and probes and placed the bones we found in Petri dishes. We are learning to talk like scientists!

Example of rodents an owl might eat:

My third grade biologists used a bone identification key to identify the bones they discovered in their sterilized pellets. We noticed that the animal bones have the same names as the bones in our bodies.

Click here for an informative video about owl pellets.

Click here to learn how to dissect an owl pellet.

Click here to order owl pellets. Several students asked me to include this information.