Dissecting Owl Pellets

We recently finished our study on owls. AJ completed a lapbook from Hands of a Child. It was a great study that covered life cycles, anatomy, vocabulary, habitat, migration, and a lot more.
This was the first lapbook that I have paid for, and I think it was well worth it. The study was very informative and AJ learned so much. The best part about completing the lapbooks is that AJ loves to show them to everyone and tell them what she has learned. She is already asking when we will do the next one. This is only the second lapbook we she has worked on so we are still learning how to make them even better. The first one she did I had printed everything on white paper so the finished product looked a little bland. This one is way more colorful, but we learned that the dark purple is too hard to read. For the next one we will stick to brighter colors.

Towards the end of the lapbook there was a lesson that involved dissecting an owl pellet. I had purchased this kit from Rainbow Resource Center at the same time that I purchased our school supplies for the year. At the time I thought it was a good value. It comes with two owl pellets, tweezers, a magnifying glass, and a booklet all about pellets. I was disappointed with the booklet it didn’t give very much information, the tweezers were flimsy, and the magnifying glass was broken when we opened it. If I was going to do this lesson again I would opt for a cheaper set that did not include the booklet. The owl pellets themselves were great though.

AJ was excited to start dissecting until she realized that it was a real owl pellet. She thought we were going to dissect a model of a pellet. Her face was priceless.
Owls eat a lot of their prey whole, they can’t chew it so the indigestible parts of their prey go to their gizzard. Hours later the bones, fur, feathers and other parts that can’t be digested are coughed up in a pellet.
The owl pellet was full of bones. According to the chart AJ determined that her owl had eaten a vole, mole, and rat. It took a long time to dissect the pellets but she really enjoyed it after the initial shock of it, in her words, “Touching something that use to be inside an animal….ewww!”
We both learned a lot about owls. In another post I will share the owl cookies we made to finish out our study.


  1. What a fun experiment. AJ no doubt learned that everything in life isn’t pleasant along with the facts about what owls spit up.

  2. I have wanted to dissect an owl pellet with my boy but the thought of doing that just made me go ewww almost immediately hahha~

  3. We were on a field trip a couple years ago, and came across owl pellets in the wild. I immediately told my kids to gather some up to dissect. The other moms thought I was cuckoo! 🙂 …They might be right, but not because of the pellets.

  4. Lol, I don’t know if I would touch one I found out in nature, ours was sanitized and I was still grossed out a little bit. You are braver than me!

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