Monday, January 24, 2011

Who Who Whoooooooooooo

Can you guess what this is?  Do you recognize it?  If not, that is probably a good thing.

Most normal people do not know that this is an owl pellet, which has been broken open.
A few weeks ago I was thrilled to find a Screech Owl in our backyard.  It started my brain rolling, and I found that I wanted to know more about these birds of prey.  The beauty of home education is that you can follow interests and learn more about them.
This was a home run activity and the kids thoroughly enjoyed opening the pellets to see what their owls had eaten.  Most of them revealed rodent bones but one lucky child had an intact bird skull.  Can you imagine swallowing that beak...twice?

Most of the pellet consists of hair.  They are not smelly or gooey.  In fact, if  they are for sale, they have likely been sanitized. 

Here are a few bones we found, and if you want to do a similar project I encourage you to check out my mini owl unit here.  There is a link to buy the pellets, a bone chart, and lots of detailed information.  I could spend two weeks studying with the kids.
This is a rodent skull.

A thigh bone.

We used this chart to help us identify what kind of bones we had found.  Some were almost exact matches.

By the time we were finished working on the pellets it was getting dark and we took a walk through the woods.  We were hoping to hear something hooting.  We didn't have any luck at all.  But, we sure did enjoy ourselves.  If you are looking for a fun learning opportunity this is a great choice.

For more owl mini unit resources visit Owl Mini Unit 2.

Science Sunday


wayside wanderer said...

What fun! Owls are such wonderful birds.

Anonymous said...

My son did this in his class recently and LOVED IT...- Amy

Ticia said...

What a great chart you found. My kids did this and LOVED it.

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