The big owl pellet dissection project

Introduction

We have dissected and provided real wild owl pellets to hundreds of children in lessons as an interactive way to understand things like predator/prey relationships, food chains and habitat management. We have now decided to carry out a big project with all owl pellets dissected and gather as much data as possible to help us understand the sort of prey Barn owls are eating around the UK.

Dissecting owl pellets never gets old or boring, the children will get the opportunity to dissect their own wild Barn owl pellet and identify and record the prey remains inside. This information will then be input into a large database kept by Raptor Aid and over time will start to highlight what Barn owls are eating, in what quantity and where in the UK. Help us get a bit more out of those pellets and take part in citizen science.

Age range

Key stage 1 – 4 & Further education

Key topics

Biology/maths/geography/literacy

Outline objectives

Understand the role prey has in a predators life (food chains)

Understand what both predators and prey require to be sustainable (Habitats)

Dissect, analyse and record the contents of a Barn owl pellet – discuss/share results

Learning outcomes

The ability to work alone and in a group dissecting the pellets

The ability to follow procedures and record findings accordingly

The ability to communicate and share the findings

Links

Nest box scheme, habitat surveying, creative writing, small mammal surveys

If you wish to discuss this project further and for more information please contact us.