October 19, 2010
Make It : Homemade Owl Pellets. Yuck!
Posted by Kristin St. Clair
I have always been fascinated with science, anatomy, and animals. Outside of the art room, one of my fondest memories from middle school goes back to the science lab—I believe it was 7th grade that we were given owl pellets to dissect.
An owl pellet is "the mass of undigested parts of the bird's food that is regurgitated. The contents of the owl pellet depend on the bird's diet, but can include the exoskeletons of insects, indigestible plant matter, bones, fur, feathers, bills, claws, and teeth." It's basically a spitball of hair and bones. Gross but intriguing.
While in Halloween mode and developing eerie, creepy crafts, I remembered how much I enjoyed dissecting things and sorting bones as a kid, and I thought, why not take it back to the science lab and make my own owl pellet with (fake) mini human bones! They are easy to make, fun to dissect, and a great alternative to candy trick-or-treats!
Flip through the how-to pictures to learn to make your very own homemade owl pellets:
1 Shred some old newspaper.
2 Let paper shreds soak in water for a bit.
3 In a food processor, blend the water and shreds—essentially making paper pulp!
4 Martha Stewart Crafts mini skeletons are ideal for owl pellets! Only $4.99 for eight at: http://www.eksuccessbrands.com/marthastewartcrafts/Products/Mini_Glitter_Skeletons__M232079.htm
5 Cut skeleton up into pieces.
6 Mix bones and paper pulp together.
7 Squeeze out excess water. Each pellet should have all the bones for one skeleton and fit in the palm of your hand.
8 Glitter pellet with onyx glitter.
9 Let dry for 24 hours or until pellet is hard,
And package them up to surprise your dressed up neighbors:
1 Place one pellet in cellophane bag with a skeleton chart.
2 template: fold-over owl pellet label
Print label, cut top half of moon to dotted line, and fold on dotted line to create a "tent." Full moon should be on front of tent. Tape over black paper tent.
3 template: skeleton chart
4 Print the skeleton chart, roll up, and tie with waxed twine.
5 Ready to dissect: Wet and break open to discover what's inside.
6 Clean bones and arrange on skeleton chart.
Ready to create your own? Print the clip art for the skeleton chart and the owl packaging.
Don't want to make your own, but want one made by an owl?! Pelletlab.com has owl barf for you.
1 Real owl pellets available at: http://www.pelletlab.com/barn_owl_pellet
2 Dissected the pellet.
3 Look what I found! Must be a mouse!
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