Owl pellet facts & video: uncover out all around Barn Owl pellet dissection and how come analyse the contents.

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What is a Barn Owl pellet? – a 4 minute video with David Ramsden from the Barn Owl Trust.

What space Barn Owl pellets?The indigestible components are regurgitated (coughed up through the beak) in the type of one owl pellet.After feeding, producing a pellet bring away 6 hours or more.After every night’s hunting an owl regurgitates 1 or 2 pellets.Barn Owl pellets room typically about the size of a man’s thumb and also black when fresh.Pellets often contain the stays of 4 or 5 small mammals.Pellet dissection have the right to tell you specifically what one owl has eaten.Where to uncover Barn Owl pellets

Pellets frequently accumulate in ~ roosting or nesting sites, wherein owls can hide away and also shelter native the weather. There room several signs of Barn Owl occupation come look out for, which help decide if the pellets are from Barn Owls or native a different bird. Barn Owl pellets space black as soon as fresh and also dark grey once dry.

Bird pellet identification chart: recognize the bird pellets girlfriend find. Most birds produce pellets, which look different according to what lock eat. Or have you uncovered something else entirely – prefer a fox scat because that instance?More about owl pellet identification on our Barn Owl digital Survey website.

Take treatment if collecting pellets from the wild as Barn Owls are a protected species and it is illegal come disturb them while breeding. However, it’s most likely that any owl nest is high above you and also if you space quietly collecting pellets top top the ground girlfriend are probably not going to disturb the owls.

Owl pellet storage and also preparation

Fresh owl pellets have the right to be dried or frozen, and kept in an airtight container. If moist pellets room stored together they can become a congealed mass of pellet debris. If pellets are stored in a sealed container a number of grubs or little moths might be discovered once the container is reopened. These space clothes moths and their grubs are fully harmless (except to wool).


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Barn Owl pellet age chart


Barn Owl pellet analysis

In dried well-used roost sites several Barn Owl pellets have the right to accumulate. Making use of our owl pellet period guide photo on the right, it’s feasible to occupational out exactly how long Barn Owls have been utilizing the site and also how newly the owl to be present.

Barn Owl pellets breakdown with age as clothes moths eat the fur, leaving the small bones behind, which can last for numerous years.

Barn Owl pellet dissection

Pellets can be analysed wet or dry. It is easier to analyse dry pellets, but to extract every one of the small mammal bones intact, dried pellets deserve to be soaked in water because that 24 hours.

Gently furious the pellet apart using your fingers or tweezers. Although pellets execute not smell, (they space not faeces) hands should be washed thoroughly with soap and water after this activity.


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Barn Owl pellet contents identification

Many thousands of Barn Owl pellets have actually been analysed so we recognize a good deal about what Barn Owl’s hunt and eat.

Wild Barn Owls eat mainly tiny mammals such as voles, shrews and also mice. Various other less common items include rats, birds and frogs.

The simplest method to determine which small mammals have been consumed is to search because that the reduced jaw bones, then ‘pair up’ the right and left jaws from each pellet.


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Barn Owl pellet analysis and dissection for colleges – free* PDF to download


The shapes of the bones, an especially the jawbones, have the right to tell girlfriend what types of animal the owl has eaten. You can also count how numerous prey items are had within an separation, personal, instance pellet.

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Take a look in ~ a ours photos of owl pellet evaluation to assist you to recognize bones

Barn Owl to trust Owl Pellet Dissection Pack

Contains every little thing you need for owl pellet dissection – including a real Barn Owl pellet! Natural scientific research straight indigenous the owl’s mouth! Owl pellet evaluation is a fascinating activity for adults and also children. You deserve to buy the packs from our virtual shop.