What Are Owl Pellets?

What Are Owl Pellets?
Owl pellets are found wherever there are owls. Dissecting owl pellets is one way to learn more about the wildlife in an area. In coastal areas, owls eat fish, while on the plains, they eat rodents. Science classes dissect owl pellets as do environmental researchers.

How Owls Eat

Owls eat their food whole; they don't chew their prey. In the stomach, enzymes and acids digest the meat. Afterward, the fur or feathers and bones are regurgitated.



The size of an owl's pellet will vary according to the size of the owl and its prey. Barn owl pellets can be up to 3 inches long.


Owl pellets look like feces, only the fur and feathers of the prey are visible. When an owl first regurgitates a pellet, it is moist and glossy, but they dry quickly.


Owls are carnivores. In an owl pellet, you might find the remains of mice and other rodents, insect's exoskeletons, plant stalk fibers, snakes, frogs, rabbits, fish, skunks and more.


Bones found while dissecting owl pellets can give researchers insight into the health of wild animal populations.

Finding Owl Pellets

Owl pellets can be purchased online or found in nature. Pay attention to where owls nest and feed. You might find pellets under a tree or along a canyon wall.


Article Written By Lisa Russell

Lisa Russell has been a freelance writer since 1998. She's been published in "Rethinking Everything Magazine," "Playdate" and "Home Educator's Family Times." She has a professional background in education, cosmetology and the restaurant industry. Russell studied early childhood education at Antelope Valley College, and is pursuing a degree in law.

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