Dissecting Owl Pellets After School

What do our kids not get enough of in school?  In my opinion, my daughter does not get enough of science and exploring the natural world.  This science experiment combines both of these!

For just a few dollars and some time, I was able to create an after school science experiment that was FUN and EDUCATIONAL!!!!

Why dissect an owl pellet?

Well for starters, kids (at least mine) are extremely excited about owls.  After reading a ton of books about owls, I asked my grade schooler if she would like to see a real owl scat (the ball of indigestible wastes they throw up!)  She was more than excited to not just see it, but take it apart. We need to get and keep our boys and GIRLS excited about science!!!

This activity is a great way to teach about the food chain and really learn what a predator is.  We talked about the importance of owls and how they keep the rodent population from getting out of control.  Farmers and gardeners are very thankful for the help of owls - without it, the mice might eat all the crops!

We were using charts like this one, making conclusions and really discussing science for over an hour.  Some of these questions and statements were not answered in our dissection and we needed to look up more information on the Internet.  She also decided that we needed to go to the library on Monday to find some non-fiction text about owls. 

"I wonder how many mice this owl ate?"  "How many animals must an owl eat each week?" "Do baby owls regurgitate pellets too?" and many, many more.

Would your kids be interested in dissecting an owl pellet?  Here are some more resources.
Owl Brand Discovery Kits Home Page
Description and investigation report

No stomach for the real thing?  Try a virtual experience.  Not as hands-on, but neat! This would be a great activity to do before or after the real thing.  It has some great facts about the different bones that can be found in your scat!

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Momand Kiddo said...

My three year old loves owls, but I'm not sure I'm quite ready for this activity, yet! :)

Deb Chitwood said...

This is a great activity for both afterschooling and homeschooling! I pinned your post to my Bird Unit Study Board at http://pinterest.com/debchitwood/bird-unit-study/

Ticia said...

How awesome you got to do that. I picked up what I thought was a real owl pellet, only to discover as we were dissecting it that it was a rather poorly put together fake......

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