Today's post is about something else from last summer -- this owl pellet I found one day when we were out birding. It's been wrapped up in a paper napkin in the trunk of the car since last May. I was happy to still be able to find it in the trunk on New Year's Day, so I could take some photos of what this owl pellet consisted of. It looks pretty interesting just like this, doesn't it? You can't really tell from this picture, but it's actually a little bit smaller than a ping-pong ball.
Turning the pellet around, you can definitely see that there are some nice little rodent teeth. (I put on a glove because I remember hearing a horrible story a few years ago about some high school students that got sick after opening owl pellets, so I didn't want to tempt fate.)
I pulled the teeth out first because that was the biggest piece. What you do you think? I'm guessing maybe red squirrel or chipmunk based on the size of these teeth.
Lookit that! You can even see the little molars when I turn the jawbone over.
There were some other bigger pieces of bone in there, but no pieces that could be positively identifed as skull. The tail was pretty easy to identify though.
Here's another piece that looks kind of like a tiny little femur, doesn't it? And then there's the tail. I guess I should have had the tape measure out so I could have given you a better idea of exact size (fail!)
And here's the final showing of all the bony fragments and pieces that were inside the furry pellet.
I don't know that much about owl pellets, so I wondered whether all that fur was actually from the same animal that these bones belonged to? If it was a red squirrel or chipmunk, would the remaining fur all be this gray in color? Or does being inside an owl's stomach before being expelled change the color to gray? A mystery of nature that I can't unravel, but I was still excited about finding and opening this owl pellet.