Saturday, May 21, 2011


 I am not only a person passionate about parrots and their mental health, but I am also passionate about owls too.  Actually...I am an avian enthusiast through and through.  Here I am at a group outing with my bird group from church called, Birds of A Feather.  I am the leader of that group and am enjoying sharing my passion for birds with my church family.  In this picture, I am dissecting an owl pellet to see what the owl had eaten.
 It takes a gentle hand to pick away the fur and pull out the skeleton of the animals that the owl consumed.  You see, owls swallow their prey whole and upon digestion their body forms a pellet out of the fur and bones of the prey.  The fur and bones (which are undigested) then get puked back up and spit out.  Sounds gross, but it is very interesting.
 The pellet I dissected showed that my owl ate three field mice for his supper.  I found three skulls and was even able to find the teeth intact to where I could pull the tooth of the rodent out of the skull.  Rodents teeth grow constantly and it was quite interesting to pull on the tooth and see how far down in the jaw it resided.
 This plate held the furry remains.  The pellets are baked to kill all worms and bacteria before they are used for dissection.  They have an odor, but it is not an offensive odor.
 My camera is not the best, so this picture of the barn owl we saw is not very clear.  It was magnificent to see this owl in its natural setting.  Their flight is silent and breathtaking.  This particular owl did not make any vocal sounds, but it did watch us intently.
 This is an owl nest box that was placed up in the rafters of the barn we visited.  If there were young inside, we didn't see any.  The owl was protecting its territory, but it could also have been protecting some young.
This is the old decrepit barn that the owl calls home.  I wish old barns like this weren't becoming a thing of the past.  They are in and of themselves pieces of art.
 I had to share with you some pictures of my friend, Rue.  Now Rue is not the outdoorsy type like I am and she is not particularly a bird lover.  But she came to my group anyway...that's what friends are for....and participated.
 Rue always has perfect nails....Always.  My nails look like, well....crap most of the time.  But not Rue, no...she has perfectly manicured nails every day of her life.  So for her to dig in to this owl pellet and separate the skeletal remains of a rodent, blew me away.
And after we dissected pellets, we drove to the barn to see the real owl, as shown above.  And Rue came along...wearing her trademark high heels!  Try sneaking up on an owl to catch a view of it, with your best friend clicking along the cement in her strappy black heels......what a hoot!!!!  Gotta love her!

1 comment:

  1. That is such a great picture of the owl and of course the owl pellet...Your friend Rue is hilarious wearing heels and the perfect nails, that is a true friend and a good sport to boot.