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Hours of fun dissecting Owl pellets
for our fascinated young naturalists

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Hours of fun was had at last month’s Saturday Safari Club, as the group enthusiastically dissected some Barn Owl Pellets that had been found on the farm.

This Summer, Pierrepont was lucky enough to have a pair of Barn Owls nest and rear young in one of our barns. Once all the young Owls had fledged the pellets that they had produced were collected from underneath the nest.

As Owls swallow their prey whole, they produce pellets made up of the indigestible fur and bones of the small mammals that they have been eating. These pellets are regularly coughed up, and although they can be tricky to find, they are often found in large numbers under regular roosting or nesting sites. Dissecting these pellets can give us a good idea about the diet of these animals.

Our young naturalists enjoyed discovering the hundreds of tiny bones inside each of their pellets. They worked hard to try to identify the different animals that had made up the Owl’s dinner and some even tried organise the different types of bones, and put all the pieces of the jigsaw together to make a complete skeleton (with a little help from the grown ups, who seemed to have just as much fun!)

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