03 May 2011

Owl Puke Pellets & a Giveaway (Closed)

As you may have noticed, we're studying birds. Well, officially, we're studying animals. But Monkey asked for birds, and I'm inclined to linger as long as he's interested. So we're in our 6th week of learning about birds, with a detour to learn about bugs (because they're eaten by birds). And, after birds eat, they puke. Owls are famous for it, but it would appear that other birds do it too. Just not so dramatically. Nor so conveniently for dissecting.

A friend of mine was kind enough to send us some owl puke. Yeah, the official name of it is owl pellets, but any self-respecting 4 year old can tell what the bird in this clip is doing! We sat and watched that mouse go down the hatch, through the esophagus and proventriculus, and into the gullet, and then made the appropriate sound effects when it came back up. Whereupon Monkey giggles, and we'd watch it again. Isn't it nice the it loops automatically?

You can't just hand an owl pellet to a munchkin and expect that things will be cool, so we did quite a bit of lead-up before we did the dissection. We read about owl pellets. We watched the afore-mentioned clip. And we went through all the other sections on KidWings owl pellet area, including watching a clip of them doing a dissection. Monkey likes to watch these things several times which worked well for me! I emphasized the point the video makes about it takes time and patience to dissect an owl pellet. He said he wanted to go for it. He told me we needed the bone chart they used in the video. Perfect. I also grabbed a sheet on how to tell what sort of critter your owl ate. That was cool.


I wanted rubber gloves, and Daddy insisted on face masks. I thought at first that was overkill, but then after a while I was thinking: owl puke, which consists of dead rodent parts. Maybe it's pretty reasonable after all. Gloves aren't so bad, and even the mask wasn't as uncomfortable as I expected. It worked. And my munchkin was protected.


At this point I set down my camera (don't want to get it gross!) and dug in myself. I never did this dissection in school and this was way too cool to pass up! Monkey worked on it for I'd guess around 30-45 minutes, then took off his stuff and went to play. I kept going, and a few minutes later he was back for a little more.




It ended up working out perfectly: he said, "Mama, I want to be done with everything, and you should be done too," right about the time that Raven woke up from his nap. They played a bit while I finished up the clean-up and disinfecting of my kitchen table.

So, now that you've seen how much fun it was, you're itching to try one, right? I hope so: I have 4 extra pellets with the tweezers and wooden skewers (see the "messy science" picture) and I'm sharing the love! Two winners will each receive two pellets and their gear!

Here's how to enter, up to twice:

1. Leave a comment with a link to your blog post about this giveaway.

2. Follow this blog (bandwagon's on the sidebar) and leave a comment.

You have until Sunday 15 May 2011 at 11:59pm CST to enter!

Please remember to leave a link!

20 comments:

Angela said...

How fun! Gross....but fun! lol
Angela (AngelBee on the Hive)

Ritsumei said...

You know, it really wasn't bad at all. Especially with the gloves. And it was a lot of fun. :])

Angela said...

Did both things to enter :)

Gloves are key! lol

Melissa said...

So cool! I have always wanted to try this, and now it's on the schedule for our next science program. I'm so excited that I'll...I mean, we'll actually get to do it, LOL! Thanks for the cool post and the giveaway.

Melissa (melissel)

Jen said...

Okay, my ds8 (almost 9) would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to do that!! (It's much cooler than the chocolate chip/oatmeal/raisin cookies we dissected when we were learning about archaeology).
(Jen+4dc on the Hive)

child central station said...

I would love to do this with my ds! I'm sharing it on FB and I follow your blog :) (Amy A @ CCS www.childcentralstation.blogspot.com)

Jeannetta said...

Oh Yay!!!! I'm so glad! I did forget to tell you they were "sanitized" :D sorry :D

Ritsumei said...

No worries, Jeannetta, I suspect that his Daddy would have wanted the mask anyway, and I would certainly have wanted some gloves! I mean, touching owl puke?? Eww...

But we had a blast; thank you again!

Mabel said...

My boys would love to do this!
I am now a follower. Thanks!

Jennifer Bogart said...

I posted on my blog here:

http://quiverfullfamily.com/2011/05/04/want-to-win-some-owl-pellets/

We are reading Owls in the Family. I totally want these!

Jennifer Bogart said...

And I am following you now too - by the way you can email me at jennifer at quiverfullfamily dot com :)

ReneeK said...

My kids would love this. I am a new follower. Thanks for the giveaway and the links.

Sweet Peripety said...

Hi! I'm a new follower! Thanks for the chance to win!

jonnia said...

Exciting giveaway! Terrific post! I actually found an owl pellet on a cub scout camp-out several months ago, but ended up giving in to the begging of one of the boys to let him take it home. ;o)

Gillian said...

What a great giveaway! Now off to enter the drawing the other way!

Gillian said...

Okay, I'm a follower now too!

Tianna said...

Loved this post! I'm not looking for owl pellets as my little guy will probably just try to eat it, but thanks for sharing your fun experience!

Diana said...

I blogged!
http://busy-homeschool-days.blogspot.com/2011/05/owl-puke.html

Diana said...

Thanks for the opportunity! I'm now a follower!

Saieef ahmdya said...

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