Friday, September 19, 2008

What Is That?

Can anyone guess what the above picture is? It's not a crumbled brownie, it's not sawdust or even a sugary cereal. Come on...you can do it. I'll wait. Da da da da da da dum, da da da da du du du du du dum dum. Time's up.
It's owl vomit on a plate. Yeah, yeah-I know it's gross. Actually I found it really interesting. It was all dried out so not much of a deal to this farm girl. Patrick was taking the garbage out tonight and yelled, "Mom-I found Owl Scat". So what do I do? I run outside and pick it up and bring it inside so that we can disect it. Now this confused us-there were tons of black sunflower seeds in the poop. We could only surmise that the delectable mouse (or chipmunk) had a belly or cheeks full of seed. We do know it was some type of rodent it ate. We could see all the little tiny bones and tons of hair. It was hard to get a good picture-the lighting was just not right tonight.

And I did have to correct the blog tonight. One of my homeschooling friends emailed to remind me that owls regurgitate what they can't digest. I don't know if that makes me feel better to have vomit on my kitchen table as opposed to poop. And somehow I did know this from watching Mike Rowe on Dirty Jobs. There is actually someone called an Avian Vomitologist who goes in barns and collects the vomit pellets.
here is a nice link all about owl vomit.
http://www.greensborobirds.com/2007/03/02/barred-owl-pellet-dissection/

Such is the life of a homeschooler. Disecting owl pellets on our kitchen table right after we finished dinner. No biggie-when the kids start to try to put the teeny tiny bones of the critters back together then I'll worry. Anyone have some glue?

3 comments:

Jennifer said...

We've dissected owl pellets as well and find them very interesting. So many liitle bones and fur. Aren't they fun? That's great that you found one outside. I've always had to order them. The pellets aren't actually poop though. They are actually thrown up.

Iris said...

Excellent find! And thanks for linking to my blog; I'm glad you found it helpful. You're so lucky to have owls nearby AND to find a pellet, to boot. Have you seen or heard them? And what kind are they? Owls often roost in the same places, so keep checking the spot where the kids found this pellet and you'll probably find more.

Iris
GreensboroBirds.com

hsmamma said...

We have heard them but are just now researching owls and the different noised they make. We found it under a pine tree- it was the first one ever we found. We just put up an owl house so are hoping to learn more.