As much as we tried over the past few months to observe an owl up close, we just were not able to make it happen this time around. We are hoping to at least hear some owls when we go on our next camping trip to Yosemite National Park in a few weeks. We heard Western screech owls last year. Don’t you think they sound like bouncing rubber balls?
We took the challenge to dissect an owl pellet. One of my sons was eager and the other one was not so eager to complete this activity. The mood changed once we got started and they each ended up learning quite a bit about owls from this activity.
We each had our own pellet to dissect and I decided I am not very good at this sort of thing. I am not a “detail” sort of person so this was a frustrating activity. In the end, I let the boys finish my pellet. The boys on the other hand were awesome at this activity. I was amazed at the minute bones they were able to extract from the mass of fur.
Although this was not a challenge where we were able to see the owls in person or even hear them in the night, we learned so much from our reading, online research, and the dissection. We are all looking forward to being on the lookout for both hearing the owls and seeing owl pellets during nature walks.
“Owls and hawks are predators that have an ecological relationship with each other. This means that whereas owls hunt predominantly at night, hawks fill their niche during the day. Both birds hunt similar prey species.”
Discover Nature at Sundown, page 49.
Just one interesting thing we have been thinking about: There is a cycle of raptor activity-owls at night and other raptors like hawks and falcons during the day. There is always some sort of raptor activity going on in the woods. Fascinating.
Whose-Awake-Me-Too…..hopefully we hear a little of that call on our camping trip this time.