Sunday, February 12, 2012

Owl Pellets

Since next weekend is the Great Backyard Bird Count I thought we'd learn more about birds. My kids are very interested in birds so this is a great topic for us. This was something they didn't know - that owls (and a few other birds) puke up part of the last meal they ate. Gross! Perfect for my kids. Before dissecting our own pellets we watched a couple YouTube videos: Baby Owl Ejects Pellet and Great Horned Owl Coughs Up Pellet. This was a great introduction. Nothing's more exciting to little boys than puke.

I bought this package at Joann's. Normal price is 14.99. I used the 40% off coupon. This was a fun activity but, definitely not worth paying full price.

The box came with 2 pellets wrapped in foil.

The pellets looked like hard dryer lint.

Pull it apart carefully looking for the bones from the owl's last meal. In our case we knew one was going to be a mouse and one was going to be a bird.

The pile of dryer lint & a few feathers.

Mr. T's pellet had bones of a starling. The bones broke fairly easily - which made it a pain to get all the lint off the bones. So we just left the lint.

Capt. N's pellet had the bones of a mouse.

The box came with a bone identification sheet, which was great. But, many of the bones didn't match the sheet making it a bit challenging to figure out which bones went where.

If I were rating this kit, I'd give it a 3 out of 5. Between the videos and the pellet activity I'm sure my kids are never going to forget that owls puke. And, isn't that the point? Learn something, have fun doing it & remember it. But, the kit itself was kind of chinsy. And, since it was man made why couldn't they have had the bones in the pellet match the bones on the chart? I'd like to dissect a real pellet and compare the two.

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