Grandma Mattie and Grandpa Charlie took a trip to Redding CA to attend a wedding a week ago. They returned with rather unusual souvenirs for the grand kids – owl pellets. Apparently the museum in Redding has a resident Great Horned owl. The museum sells the pellets – 3 for $5 – Mattie bought 6! I was a little shocked when I arrived home from work to find the kids fed and demanding not ice cream, but owl pellets! These kids were unable to contain their budding naturalist natures, bursting at the seams to get at some scat.
Seth’s pellet yielded the most dramatic find, an intact rodent skull. Rosie was very serious about sniffing her pellet to determine what kind of animal the poo came from. Frances discovered two tiny matching jaw bones in her pellet with the tiniest teeth I have ever seen. In the middle of this scientific mayhem Seth announced, “I am going to be a scientist that studies animals when I grow up”! Rosie and Frances agreed wholeheartedly. Needless to say, that little display of naturalist bravado warmed the cockles of my heart, and I’m sure Grandma Mattie’s too.
ADDENDUM ~ OWL PELLETS ARE NOT SCAT!
Last night Seth and I overheard a conversation next to us at the In and Out Burger (of all places) that really set me straight. As it turns out, owl pellets are not scat, they are actually regurgitated animal parts. I had just assumed they were scat, but I guess you can’t always trust your assumptions. I will have to clarify this with the cousins so that they do not accidentally “show and tell” with misinformation.