What better way to find out more about barn owls and what they eat, than to get your hands on a real barn owl pellet and dissect it! Barn owls swallow their prey whole. This means that they swallow the bones and the fur as well and this cannot be digested by the owl. These are compacted inside the owls’ stomach and ejected out of the mouth every day as a pellet.

These pellets are a fantastic way of discovering what the owl has eaten and what prey has been available in a particular habitat. A big thanks to the Staffordshire Barn Owl Action Group (BOAG) who provided these pellets for Year 3 to dissect as part of their work on barn owls.

Year 3 were very excited about this activity and the classroom was full of shrieks of joy as vole and even shrew skulls were discovered! We also found tiny hip and shoulder bones, leg bones and minute little vole ribs!!

P1060012

P1060043

P1060044

P1060046

P1060047

P1060051

P1060060

P1060062 P1060074

P1060077

We carefully mounted the smaller bones onto cellotape and then onto black paper. We mounted the amazing skulls and lower jaws onto a blob of PVA glue. This will dry clear and allow us to display our discoveries!

P1060027

P1060050

Year 3 are Barn owl experts now, as they have learnt lots about these wonderful birds of prey.

You can see more of our photos on our Flickr set HERE