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What is an owl pellet?

Burrowing Owl  Barnowl pellets

Owls are nocturnal birds of prey that hunt for food at night and sleep during the day.  An owl’s diet might include small rodents such as mice, voles, and smaller rats.  Owls also eat other small birds, bugs, and insects.   The owl’s body can not digest all of the parts of their prey.

Indigestible body parts such as teeth, bones, fur, and feathers form into a small, oval-shaped mass in the owl’s stomach.  The owl later spits up this mass and deposits it on the ground.  These pellets are collected and  sterilized for scientists to conduct food chain investigations in an owl’s ecosystem.Investigating Owl Pellets  Interested in conducting your own owl pellet investigation?  Order today.

Not into fur, feathers, and skeletons? Conduct a

virtual owl dissection online

TWEET! TWEET!

Hey! Backyard Scientists! Did you know that this is the nesting season for Robins (April through July)?  Visit the live streaming website of an American Robin’s nest in Lawrence, Kansas.   Avid birdwatcher, Gene Planker provides some information about the live camera feed from a Robin’s nest in his backyard.  Planker says, The nest is inside a small cedar tree that I keep trimmed to about 10 feet. The nest was begun 4-4-13. I saw Cardinals leave the area first, then a Robin visited and after that a Grackle came by and looked at the nest. On 4-7-13 the Robin was adding material to the nest and shaping the bowl area.”

Don’t forget, every backyard scientists needs to gather data.  Download the Citizen Scientist observation form and think, draw, and write about what you observe at the American Robin’s nest.  You’ll also find a live camera feed for a Hummingbird’s Nest at www.wild-bird-watching.com

Citizen Scientist

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