Owl Puke

by Stefani on 27-September-2007

Owl Pellet

Yep, that’s what that is. Only the technical term is “pellet”. I’m not sure that makes it sound any nicer, but there you go.

My middle guy has long been into night creatures. His most favorite animal in the world is the bat, but really, he digs anything nocturnal. In fact, if you ask him, he’s nocturnal too, and we just force him to be in his bed at night. He doesn’t sleep at night, not ever, or so he says. If you confront him with the fact that you saw and heard him sleeping, he claims that he’s just a really good actor. Uh huh. Right.

So, considering his love of night things, and the fact that we saw a mouse in the yard a few days ago, and often hear owls in the wee hours. I thought it was time we did the pellet dissection thing.

Last year, about this time, they spent a LOT of time doing the virtual version at Kidwings, but this year, we wanted the real deal.

In case you are so inclined you can order them for a very reasonable fee at Home Science Tools.

You too can pick apart masses of fur and bones.


Young Scientists

You too can reassemble the remains of some ill-fated critter.


I found it really seriously cool, but I’m weird like that.

If you’re not into owl gag though, maybe you’ll find the craft versions more appealing.


I wish I could claim it (and you can bet I’m going to attempt some shameless recreations), but it’s actually Sarah’s handiwork.

She also made a really cool paper version here.

Of course there’s also Miguette’s or these sweet owlets from Moonstitches, or maybe these little cuties over at Chasing Bluebirds.

Oh my! I have my work cut out for me this weekend!

And since we’re on the subject. other than Owl Moon (which we love) do you all have any great owl-related book recommendations?

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

Marjorie September 27, 2007 at 7:48 pm

That T-shirt is sooo cute! (That’s all I have to say 😉

Molly September 27, 2007 at 7:59 pm

I’ve noticed a lot of owls in the blogosphere lately. In fact I saw a link today to an owl swap. We like the book Owl Babies by Martin Waddell. Love the illustrations against a black background. What a fun thing to study. My Avery also claims she doesn’t sleep a wink at night, no not one.

Anne September 27, 2007 at 10:46 pm

My youngest has a thing for owls; he loves the book “I’m not cute” by Jonathan Allen.

Kris September 28, 2007 at 3:41 am

Yes! Owly is about the sweetest owl book ever! It is comic book style and my 6&7 year olds love Owly. There are three books out and we’ve read them all at least twice since August~


Sarah Jackson September 28, 2007 at 5:36 am

Awesome! Lindsay had to do this last year in her anatomy class, and then reassemble the vole remains in 3-D to look like the real thing. They put them in funny dioramas – hers was “Na-vole_ean Dynamite” and he was on the auditorium stage. Not as true to nature, perhaps, but much fun for the whole family!

dianeinjapan September 28, 2007 at 5:50 am

Oh, ick. I’ve heard this particular dissection is very cool, though–I may have to break down and buy one of these kits. Second Child would totally dig it!

Sarah September 28, 2007 at 6:02 am

Oh man, I am such a sick biologist that I am actually about to squeeeeeeee with joy over the owl pellet and the skeleton. I really hope that Jack enjoys that sort of stuff down the line. (So far he is only midly interested in science stuff.)

Angela (Robinson County) September 28, 2007 at 6:03 am

I totally remember the owl pellet dissection. It was one of the few that I didn’t mind doing, since it didn’t involve blood/guts.

LOVE the owl shirt…too cute, who could blame any one for attempting a shameless re-creation?

And thanks for the tip on Owl Moon…we’ll add it to our library list for next time.

kirsten September 28, 2007 at 7:22 am

1 – ew.

2 – one hit my husband in the head in our backyard. ew.

(linking to the url to that)

Sarah September 28, 2007 at 9:32 am

My mother taught K-2nd grade for over 35 years and the Owl Pellet dissection was always one of her favorites. She still talks about it to this day and she’s been retired for 14 years. It is very cool.

Molly September 28, 2007 at 10:22 am

I loved dissection… in third grade, we picked apart a shark, a pregnant one with all these little baby sharks; I put one in a jar and gave it to my second grade teacher.

Also: we have a bazillion bats in our neighborhood. Tres cool.

Molly September 28, 2007 at 10:22 am

I loved dissection… in third grade, we picked apart a shark, a pregnant one with all these little baby sharks; I put one in a jar and gave it to my second grade teacher.

Also: we have a bazillion bats in our neighborhood. Tres cool.

Sarah September 28, 2007 at 11:06 am

I did that in school, and it was really interesting. I didn’t know you could buy them, that’s funny.

miguette September 28, 2007 at 11:55 am

Oh man! All that owly goodness. That home science tools site looks great! I’m going to order that kit. Colby will undoubtable love it.

Thanks Stefani!

kristin September 28, 2007 at 1:30 pm

oh, read owl babies…my favorite page:


Lori September 28, 2007 at 2:24 pm

love the owl pellets! such a great fall project, too.

i’m reading a lot of archives, stefani! :^)


Dallas September 28, 2007 at 3:43 pm

That kit is so cool. I’m an owl fan too…actually, I just participated in a owl-themed craft swap. You can see what I sent and received at my blog.

Jody September 28, 2007 at 6:45 pm

Just the other day I came across a strange bag of tiny bones in my oldest sons sock drawer … sure enough, dissected owl pellet.

Sounds like you had a fun time.

Grace September 28, 2007 at 8:28 pm

stefani, this is awesome! i don’t know if my kiddo, who’s a bit on the squeamish side, would get into this. but i know i would be totally fascinated! maybe one day i’ll get one of my children to do it with me.

Roxanne September 28, 2007 at 8:29 pm

We did this as a homeschool science project last year. I didn’t have any special tools though. We just used toothpicks and an old sieve and tweezers (which we threw away after). We were lucky- one pellet – two boys. We broke the pellet in half but each boy still got a vole skeleton in his half! Love the t-shirt. I named my blog Owl Moon Studio.

Candy Pfau/sparroweye September 29, 2007 at 9:04 am

You should put up a bat house for him. I keep trying to get photographs of our bats at night but it is impossible. We had screech
owls in our red-headed woodpecker bird house this past March. It was fascinating. If you go back through my Flickr photographs you will see our baby owls. We hope to put a new house up this Fall. The squirrels just about ruined the old house trying to chew their way in to it. You would think they would have been scared of the mama screech owl.

Chris September 29, 2007 at 9:43 am

“Owl at home” by Arnold Lobel (same author who wrote the Frog & Toad books).

“Good-night, Owl!” by Pat Hutchins

Joanne September 29, 2007 at 7:37 pm

Those pellets really look gross and I hate to think about what they really are-but finding the pieces of an animal and reassembling has got to be a really cool experience. I’m going to have to try to be brave when the time comes so my son doesn’t miss out. Those photos are screaming hand sanitizer gel and antibacterial soap. 😉

Nicole September 30, 2007 at 9:50 am

That owl pellet kit looks really neat!

leslie September 30, 2007 at 7:00 pm

oh my gosh, i am in your blog! how cool! love love love owls, and all the stuff that goes with them i guess, ha ha!


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