Owl Pellets

By Blake Mathys, Ph.D.

In preparation for the Central Ohio Owl Project, I have been collecting (and taking pictures of) owl pellets. Owls regularly regurgitate these parts of their prey that can't be digested; pellets usually contain hair, bones, and teeth, but can also include feathers, invertebrate exoskeletons, and other materials. They provide evidence of an owl's presence, even if the owl isn't currently using that roost site. The size of the owl pellet correlates with the size of the owl, although Barn Owls have particularly large pellets for their size.

4 days worth of Long-eared Owl pellets
Barn Owl pellets
A particularly large Barn Owl pellet
A collection of Barn Owl pellets
Owl pellets can be hard to see
Owl pellets break down over time; various ages are represented here
A large collection of Barn Owl pellets
Size diversity of pellets (unknown species)
This pellet didn't make it to the ground
An owl pellet found in a wet area
Another owl pellet as it was discovered
This owl had been eating crayfish

Questions? See the Central Ohio Owl Project webpage, my main website (BlakeMathys.com), or email me at mathysb@ohiodominican.edu.