Owl Pellet Sketch

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Finally!!!!
I FOUND them!!!
Owl pellets.

After years of knowing what to look for and searching diligently, I got them! Whoooo Hoooooo! Yessssssss.

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Owl pellets are regurgitated fur and bones. Owls cannot digest them. It’s really not gross at all. If you have a cat, it’s just like a hair ball.

I collected 2.5 pellets. When I started to dissect them with tweezers, there was a definite smell, just like rotting fruit. I don’t know why this is, but it was there. Over the period of 2 hours I carefully separated several bones and was in nature heaven!

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How To Look For Owl Pellets:

Owls LOVE pines trees on the edge of a field. When you see this inspect the pines. This picture is white wash not sap. White wash is owl poop. Many people assume this is sap because it is on a pine. When you see this on a tree, inspect the ground around the tree. That is where you will find the pellets.

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Here is a pellet. It looks like poop but it is not. Sometimes you can even see the bones sticking out of the pellet. This one was very dark and about 2 inches long. That information is important because it can tell you what type of owl it was. I don’t have that information but in the future I may try to find out.

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Here are some of the bones I cleaned off. I did not even save them all. WOW. Let’s just say W O W!
Can you find one single tooth, it has a root on it…how cool. I’ll give you a clue….near the top left corner. I cleaned 6 skulls in 2.5 pellets. I believe I have 2 rat skulls and 4 mice skulls, but not sure.

Now that you know how to find owl pellets, keep your eyes open when hiking. You too can have this much fun in nature!!!

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14 responses to “Owl Pellet Sketch

  1. Absolutely so very kool. Thank-you I just learned something new. Thank-you Christine.
    Kathy Kidman
    New Brunswick, Canada

  2. How interesting and exciting. On my morning walks in a local park, I occasionally see an owl, but had no idea about the pellets or the wash. I will be keeping my eyes open in the future. Looking forward to hearing more details. Wonder – do hawks do the same?

    • Yes, hawks do the same and I think the pellets are much smaller. Weighing and measuring would give a clue as to which it is. I hope you do find some. I have not had that much fun as an adult in a long time as I did dissecting pellets!!!

  3. These owl pellets are so interesting! It is amazing how tiny the skull is and the bones and how you were able to go through the pellets like a surgeon. There are so many treasures in the woods and all we have to do is stop, go very slow and just look as closely as we can. Great little drawings, too! thank you for such an informative and fun website!!

  4. “Owl pellets”– that’s definitely my favorite New Term of the Day! I really had no idea…

    Love your sketches– you even make regurgitated bones look good!! : )

  5. We have done this but you got many more bones than we did. I love the journal!

  6. Pingback: St. Francis Woods Sketch | Let's Paint Nature!

  7. Wow, that was quite a find :0 Thanks for sharing the ‘treasure’ here 🙂

  8. Great sketches and info! Thanks. I’m trying to identify droppings on my patio. They are under where we’ve seen an owl roost, and they definitely look like poo. I picked one up (with a glove on!) and it immediately disintegrated like dust. They are only about 1.5 inches long. Do you think these are teeny owl pellets? They seem smaller than images I’ve found online, but maybe my owl is a light eater? 🙂 Thanks for any insight!!

    • If it is an owl pellet there would be bones inside. When it disintegrated, did you notice any bones? The size is good, not too small. But I would guess… no bones, no pellet, as owls cannot digest them. Nature is exciting, isn’t it! And if it is just poop, well, some scientists dedicate their whole lives to scat study 🙂

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