What was once an owl's feast is now your world of discovery! Owl pellets are masses of bones, teeth, hair, feathers, scales, and insect skeletons. They are produced and regurgitated, not only by owls, but also by hawks, eagles, and other raptors which swallow their prey whole or in large pieces. The soft parts of the prey are dissolved by proteolytic enzymes and strong acids which occur in high concentrations in the stomachs of raptors. The relatively weak stomach muscles of the bird form the undigested fur, bones, feathers, etc. into wet slimy pellets. In this process, even the most fragile bones are usually preserved unbroken. Because the pyloric opening of the stomach into the intestines narrows, only finely divided materials pass into the intestine. As a result, tiny bones only occasionally pass through the digestive system. Each whole owl pellet usually contains virtually complete skeletons of the animals which the owl ate the night before the pellet was formed.
This kit contains pellets from the barn owl, Tyto alba. These owls feed early in the evening, and then regurgitate a single pellet 18-20 hours after feeding. If the owls roost in unprotected areas, the pellets fall to the ground and decompose quickly. However, if the owls roost in barns, steeples, or caves, the pellets will accumulate in large numbers on the protected floors.