The Owl Pellets Page, Skeletons In The Closet!
The Owl Pellets Page, Skeletons In The Closet! On this page you will learn all about Pellet Analysis of Owls, Pellet Activity and Spooky Skeletons Found In Pellets. Lucky You!!
All birds of prey make pellets or castings as they are called in the art of falconry. Contrary to popular belief, a pellet is not the faeces of a bird of prey.
Instead, a pellet is much the same as a cat’s fur ball and is ejected from the gizzard (throat) and not the...ahem...”rear end”.
Pellets are different to the pellets regurgitated by the diurnal raptors. This is because of the difference in the way in which they feed.
The Owl Species
normally swallow (if possible) their prey whole whereas the diurnal raptors like the
Hawk Bird Species
Eagle Bird Species
take morsels of food at a time and slice through the meat with their powerful beaks.
This means that with owl castings, the bones of the prey they have consumed are nearly always intact. This makes Pellets fascinating to Ornithologists and means we can study exactly what a specific owl has been feeding on for the past few days.
Owl Pellets and Health
Making Pellets is in fact, essential to the birds health and is used to remove indigestible material from the bird’s proventriculus (glandular stomach).
The Owl Species
also use this technique to clean their gizzard, the roughage of the pellet also scours the inside of the Owl’s gullet. Owl castings are normally regurgitated 6-10 hours after feeding. This means that pellets are normally ejected twice daily when prey is plentiful.
Skeletons Found In Owl Pellets
The Skeletons found in pellets is the single most fascinating aspect of this subject. As you can see from this Pellet Diagram, the skeletons found in pellets can be very varied. Pellet analysis can reveal many exciting dark secrets from these mysterious creatures. Pellet analysis and pellet diagrams can really give us an insight into the dark world of the Owls.
Some Skeletons Found In Owl castings are;
- Insect exoskeletons like beetle wing casings
- Mouse skeletons
- Shrew Skeletons
- Rat skeletons
- Fur of rodents
- Squirrel Skeletons and claws
- Rabbit Skeletons
- Hare Skeletons
- Marmot Skeletons
- Weasel Skeletons
- Skunk Bones
- Fox Bones
- Snake Skeletons
- Frog Skeletons
- Bat Skeletons
- Bird Beaks including other Owl Bones...yes Owls are cannibles
- Other raptor Bones...
- etc etc..
Research into Owl Pellet Analysis and Skeletons found in Owl Pellets.
As you can see the skeletons found can be from anything and for some people, the pellet activity and the skeletons found in Pellets is their life’s work. Thanks to these scientists, we now know a lot more about Owls and raptors and their diets, feeding habits, migration patterns, breeding, lifestyle, preferred habitat, diseases, biology and anatomy...yes unbelievable isn’t it! Well done I say to them!
Skeletons found in Owl castings are also an integral part of education. The Pellet activity classes both educates school students in dissection and also anatomy of the prey species and the owls themselves.
Pellet Activity in school classrooms is essential to the education of students. Also the pellet analysis is integral to the owl species survival in todays world.
This is why the study of skeletons found in pellets and the analysis of pellets is so fascinating and so important. Many members of the Owl species are endangered.
Owls like the barn owl and the northern spotted owl are in dire straits. The study of barn owl (castings in falconry terms) could lead to many facts been learnt on this delicate and elusive owl. This could lead to the eventual survival of the species at this critical time.
Apart from all this, the dissection of a pellet can be very fun and one can feel a closeness to this species that you cannot just by watching them.
Pplease feel free to browse the rest of the site :) P.s I hope you have enjoyed my Owl pellets page and gained an insight into pellet analysis and pellet activity. To know more about Barn Owl Pellets and barn owl conservation please click on the link further up the page.
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