Thursday, May 7, 2009

owl pellets


I think most educators find themselves involved in this activity at least once in the schooling career. Dissecting owl pellets. Owl pellets, you say??? You know, that stuff that owls puke out after they eat another animal and then someone goes and gathers and then sells online to science freaks like me. Yep. Owl pellets.

It goes with our bird study (HERE) and it actually was really interesting. I found a good source online for extra large owl pellets. HERE. They contain a lot of little bones and skulls and fur. The girls started off with their gloves on but pretty soon ditched them and got serious with finding things. (Don't worry, the pellets are sanitized).
We had our science lab in our basement (great place for icky things...much better than the dining room table). Some new friends came over who were up for digging through owl puke. It really was a fun time.
And the kids were able to identify the different bones and group them together. Tristen hit the jackpot - I think she found 6 or 7 skulls.

Now if I could just figure out how to store their treasures. =)

13 comments:

Tickled Pink Talk said...

We go to a small science center on Nantucket where the boys can do this. They (especially my oldest) can just sit for HOURS hunting for skulls and other parts....I love seeing what you are doing with your girls!
Gabi

Lee and Bev said...

What fun to see the girls so into this project and finding such interesting things. Circle of life, huh? Awsome Creator, is He not?

Karen said...

Emily did this last year on a field trip and she saved her skulls ( totally gross to me) in a ziploc bag and she has this little wooden box that she put it in. Yuck!

ScienceGeek said...

Awesome! That is an activity that never gets old. My kids are always up for dissecting owl pellets...you never know what you'll find. Having the identification chart is awesome to help figure out what bones you're finding. Most people think that the pellets are the owl's poop (very scientific term, I know) and when they learn that they are just regurgitation they feel a little better about the whole thing.

carrie said...

It's amazing what we can find online, isn't it?! :) I'm sure the girls will remember that for a long time!

Susan said...

Somehow the words sanitized and poopoo just don't seem to go together. Great job Science GIRLS. I am sure Chad would jump right in there with you!!!

Susan said...

OK, OK, I stand corrected (smile) Regurgitation and sanitized STILL doesn't match up somehow. But, go for it...wish my boys were there to help.

Susan said...

I would ooohhhh and awwwwww excitedly from several safe feet away. (smile)

Erlinda said...

do a unit study on Egypt & mummify them, then bury them & do an archeology dig later.... we did this in Chico & I think those things are still at Bidwell park somewhere

crispy said...

Yep, that is why I said PUKE out not POOP out.

It was pretty clean and wasn't very messy. Though, I did keep reminding the kids not to laugh over the owl "fluff". If they did it would go every where.

I gotta say, these girls were not your squirmy kind. They got right in there and were good sports.

Tonya said...

See, I told you that you are the WAY COOLEST homeschooling mama that I know! Man, would our boys ever love to live next door to you guys. ;-)

As for your comment at my blog - I'm with YOU, the snakes can stay OUTSIDE! HA!!!

K-Sue said...

We have still not dissected owl pellets, but will someday, I'm sure. I think it is more fun to do this with a little group. Maybe we will do this with "our" boys the summer, though it does not fit either of their current curricula. Just so I can be a cool HS Mom/babysitter ;)

Julie said...

Cool! My kids did that last year, but I wasn't able to be there...now I want to do it myself.