Finding out what owls eat

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's that time of the year when many of you are out and about enjoying the nice weather. You might encounter owl vomit during your outdoor adventure. If so, here's an experiment that will reveal what owls eat.

Materials

* Owl pellet (Contact your local nature center to discover where you can get an owl pellet.)

* Black construction paper

* Magnifying glass

* Toothpicks

* Tweezers

* Latex gloves

Instructions

STEP 1: Put on the latex gloves, then pick up the owl pellet and place it in the center of the black construction paper.

STEP 2: Using the tweezers and toothpicks, dissect the owl pellet.

STEP 3: Use the magnifying glass to observe what you discovered inside the owl pellet.

Explanation

Looking through the owl pellet you observed regurgitated bones, fur and feathers.

Owls cannot digest bones, fur and feathers, therefore, they regurgitate these animal parts.

Jason Lindsey is a Science Outreach Educator with Hooked on Science. Check out his website "Hooked On Science" at hookedonscience.org for webcasts and experiments that might get you hooked on science. Send him your science questions at jlindsey@hookedonscience.org. More science experiments can be found at www.semissourian.com.

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