1.14.2009

Hack, Hack

 
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While out cutting trail today I happened upon this owl pellet. If I had had a container to put it in I would have packed it up for further study. It would have been interesting to find out what sort of bones these are. Alas, I had nothing handy and the pellet was sopping wet...not an ideal condition for popping into one's pocket.

It was a beautiful day with blue skies and bright sunshine but comfortably chilly, great conditions for the trail work that needed to be done. Unfortunately, I didn't get many pictures to share -- it is difficult to swing a brush axe and take pictures at the same time, don't you know.

10 comments:

Hugh said...

I sometimes wish I had carried a digital camera with me during the trailwork I did at the previous job. We saw so much good stuff, almost every day.

It took a while to learn how useful and inexpensive digital photography was.

Bother.

Keep snappin' them shots.

who wouda thunk it?? said...

yummy! My money is on lizard and the longer curved bone looks like frog (to me)

Anonymous said...

Swampy-What is it with you biologists who go out into the field without the proper equipment?!!! I was out with the whooper biologist last week chasing an errant chick and he was collecting whooper poop except that he had no plastic bags! Scrounging through the truck we found an envelope for his first sample and his pocket for the second. I'm going to develop a field kit for you both to carry in your trucks!
Maineiac

swamp4me said...

Hugh,
I do enjoy having a digital camera along on my trail days -- just wish I had a better way to carry it!

WWTI,
Could be, I guess. Although it has been a little cool here for herps to be out and about.

Maineiac,
Heh-heh, that's why we have organized, manager-types like you to keep us straight ;) And I did have containers in my truck, it's just that my truck was about a mile away...

Pablo said...

Must be the season. I found an owl pellet at Roundrock on my last visit. I intend to go back to the same spot and see if I can turn up any more for closer examination.

Fishy Girl said...

I used to have my elementary school students disect owl pellets. It was one of my favorite activities to do in science.

Uncle Bear /:-) said...

Hi Miss Swamp4,

A long time ago I was lucky enough to be in an adult ed class, and disected an owl pellet. I love to get a chance to do it again.

swamp4me said...

Pablo,
Have you noticed how things run in bunches with all us bloggers? Sort of makes me feel connected :)

Fishy Girl,
Dissecting pellets does seem to capture the imagination of even the reluctant student. Teaching science in elementary school must be very rewarding. I made "guest" appearances in the lower school classes, but I taught middle and upper school sciences.

Uncle Bear,
Perhaps you will have another opportunity sometime. You can order pellets from science supply places like Carolina Biological -- of course, they usually come in class size packages!

nina said...

I dissected a handful of pellets last winter--just to pass the gray days. And found, with many, many leg bones, skulls, too!
The easiest way to identify the "eaten."
My owls seem to grab voles and shrews.

So very cool!

swamp4me said...

nina,
I love to line up all the delicate little bones and try to figure out how many critters they represent. Most of the pellets I find have mouse and cotton rat bones in 'em.