Monday, March 23, 2009

Owl pellets


Even before our big night-owl adventure, we dissected the owl pellets that we had found that first time out. It wasn't as gross as it sounds. (If you want gross, go to this video that we watched just before we got started.)





One of the tiny skulls that they found

This was so funny! The "great scientist" kept dropping his magnifying glass to count on his fingers.


"THIS is a backbone."

There were about two voles (полёвки) in each owl pellet. I kept calling them mice, but Will said that their faces were too short, and of course, he was right. He knows about these kinds of things. We just didn't know what they were, if not mice. Once our little scientists went down for their nap, I started looking on the internet. This chart looks exactly like what our owl had been eating. That helped me to identify the kind of owl, too. Apparently Short-eared owls eat lots of voles. After nap time, Jaan and Raia enjoyed matching the bones that they had found with the chart and then turning to a human anatomy lesson, too.

Jaan and Raia are still so excited about owls! Raia wanted to take the bones to Sunday school the next day to show their teacher. And today we had a guest come over. They couldn't even wait until she was done with tea; they brought bones and the leftover pellets to the table to show her.

Next post on this topic: Owl art. . . .

7 comments:

Mom said...

Science with smiles...just the way it should be...what great lessons your young scientists are learning!

Love to each one....

Matt said...

This is great. The kids are getting so big and growing up fast. :)

Baba Julie said...

Wonderful! I would think Will would know about Voles! My mother's yard was FULL of them at one time! I'm sure he remembers doing the owl pellets himself, too! What fun!! Love you all!

Phyllis said...

No, he doesn't remember. Tell us about it!

Baba Julie said...

Will and Josh Briggs used to find these owl pellets outside in the woods by Carolina Christian! They didn't know what they were doing, but they would just break them open to see what was in them! I was amazed, but just thought they were playing with owl poop!! (: Love y'all!

Laura :) said...

I love dissecting owl pellets. Such fun!!! We still have the bones from the 2 we did and it was neat to break one small bone (from a bird) and see that it is indeed hollow, just like our science book said!

Laura T. :)

Wendy said...

Fascinating!
I look forward to doing this with my little guy.