SNN (ScrollingNetworkNews) ✿ ✿ Our Mel and Sydney returned to their nesting box with plenty of bonding occurring..but after 2.5 months of Sydney in the box from Dec 2013 to mid Feb 2014, the lack of prey gifts from Mel ( perhaps due to the severe and historic drought underway in California)and they have forgone the nesting process this year as many other raptors ✿ Compared to other owls of similar size, the Barn Owl has a much higher metabolic rate, requiring relatively more food. Pound for pound, Barn Owls consume more rodents – often regarded as pests by humans – than possibly any other creature. ✿ We remind viewers that sometimes owlets may not survive - the parents will dispose of things in "The Owl Way" -viewer discretion is advised, this is nature and the "Owl way". ✿ ~ ✿ “Animals, like us, are living souls. They are not things. They are not objects. Neither are they human. Yet they mourn. They love. They dance. They suffer. They know the peaks and chasms of being.” ― Gary Kowalski, The Souls of Animals ✿ Each species is a masterpiece, a creation assembled with extreme care and genius." ~ E.O. Wilson

Owl Pellets

What you might ask is a pellet?
Owls and other raptors, as you may know, maintain a diet primarily, if not exclusively, of protein. In other words, they eat other animals.

Raptors are unlike humans who can cut, cook, and otherwise prepare our food to eliminate the indigestible portions. They also differ from carnivores like wolves that can tear the meat away from indigestible things like bones.

They often feed on small animals like rodents and smaller birds. Weeding out the digestible from the indigestible parts of small animals like these when you only have a beak and talons to do so with isn't always easy. The solution that raptors have come up with is casting pellets.

As a raptor digests its meal, its body separates these indigestible parts such as bones and fur. This material binds together and is later expelled through an action that very much looks like the bird is vomiting. They are not vomiting however, and it is not the same thing as a cat expelling a hairball either.

Many people at one point in their lifetimes, whether it was in science class or just for fun, have dissected owl pellets. If you haven't had the pleasure, these pellets appear as small forms of bound up fur. Often you can see small bones if you look closely.

Click on picture  to enlarge