Tuesday, February 21, 2006

In My Neighborhood (part 3): The Owl Edition

We have owls living near our house. Just once, I actually saw an owl swoop over the street in the orange light of the streetlamp. However, owls are very Israeli and they leave other evidence of where they've been all over the place. This evidence is in the form of owl pellets. Owl pellets are compacted indigestible material that an owl regurgitates. They're composed of things like the teeth, skulls, claws, and feathers of the animals the owl has eaten. They give clues to the diet of the owl. (You can read a great article about owl pellets by following this link.)

You should have seen me when I first saw these pellets. I am just fascinated by nature in the city. Y and I were walking and I made him stop and check out the pellets with me. He had never seen one before. We took a minute and pulled one apart and found big rodent teeth and a skull. Cool!

There are two pellets here. One is brownish and left of center and the other is grey with white bones in it.

Here are some small bones (the white pieces) next to a fence post. The winter rains washed away the other part of the pellet.

Here are two pellets by another fence post. You can also see some white bones sticking out of these pellets.


At 2/21/2006 11:20 AM, Anonymous Shirat HaSirena said...

That's so gross and so fascinating!!

At 2/21/2006 4:48 PM, Blogger Adam said...

I loved dissecting owl pellets in middle school and high shcool sicnece class!! If you get a really good one you could actally have most of the skeleton of a rodent and you can reconstruct it. ....not that I ever...did...that.

At 2/22/2006 2:15 PM, Anonymous Kari said...

I didn't know they did that. Sounds like there is a treasure to find in everyone :).

At 2/22/2006 2:31 PM, Blogger Sam said...

Absolutely disgusting... and cool! You are truly a country boy. I've seen an owl in the wild only once. Thanks for the lesson!


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