Saturday, September 19

Owl Pellets?

I'm so flipped about this I can hardly stand it. I found, what I think are owl pellets in the lawn in front of our house. Actually, I first noticed them on Audrey's windowsill. They seemed way too big to be bird poop and a cat couldn't possibly have climbed up to the second story window sill and left a few hairballs. So I thought they may be owl pellets. I looked in the lawn underneath her window and found 5 more.

Here's the thing, I broke apart 4 of them with a stick and didn't see any bones. I read online that what distinguishes owl pellets from other bird pellets is the presence of bones. I couldn't find any information about the existence of owl pellets *WITHOUT* bones. Does this mean they are from another type of bird? The thing is these pellets are big - 2 inches or so - what other bird could make pellets of this size? The largest birds I've seen here are crows, rooks, pigeons and magpies. Would one of those make pellets? These look like owl pellets. I remember dissecting them in school.
I googled around a bit but really couldn't turn up much info. Specifically, I couldn't find any info about the pellets of birds that aren't raptors. Does anyone out there know about owl pellets? Bird pellets? Please share your expertise.

I just love the idea of an owl coming to sit on our roof at night. How incredibly cool would that be?

p.s. I know that owl pellets are not safe to dissect until they've been sterilized. I broke them apart outside with the girls safely inside.

p.p.s. more googling - think maybe they are kestrel pellets.


Teacher Tom said...

This is SOOO cool. I'm excited for you. If you figure out what they are, please make sure to post.

Jessica said...

I have no idea about the pellets but having an own on top of your house totally reminds me of Harry Potter. I would love that but the noise would probably scare my 3 year old!

poppyart said...

I studied a beautiful book with a series of 11 year olds called 'Skellig'. I is all about owls and angels and a small boy. He finds the pellets and is thoroughly intrigued. It sounds a bit grisly, but you could disect them to see if there are teeny tiny bones inside the pellets.

Road Trippers said...

Oh my gosh, if you find more PLEASE send us one so I can wrap it up for Ava for Christmas! She's asked Santa for owl pellets before, seriously. I can't wait for you to figure out the mystery. I'll cross my fingers that *some* bone fragment turns up! (ps - never heard of a kestrell before!)

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