Owl Pellet Investigation

Meeting an owl in its natural environment really helps to bring science, anatomy and physiology to life during this activity.

Pupils are always fascinated and amazed by the treasure found in a very neat owl pellet. This also sparks lots of discussion about what the findings can actually tell us as it indicates species behaviour and gives us habitat information which can be very important for conservation projects and data recording.

The activity is structured in a way which encourages pupils to explore the process themselves and engage in discussion throughout the process of investigation while answering questions about their findings as they go.

In groups, pupils will investigate everything, from the shape and texture of the pellet itself to breaking it open and identifying the tiny individual bones which lead them to determine the species of prey the skeleton belongs to. Older groups will record their findings with each group having a data sheet to complete.

Making sketches and taking photographs of the findings will also be a key part of this activity. Depending on level of the group, this enables post activity sessions back at school. We can also provide teachers with selected bones to take back for further investigation under a microscope or for drawing.

Key subject:

Science (anatomy and physiology)

Subject links to:

Maths, English, Art

Adaptable for:

Key Stage 1 – Key Stage 4


Curriculum links:

Running time:

This activity can be run indoors if the weather prevents us from working outside.

Links to outreach visit topics:

Nocturnal, Habitats and Adaptations, Predator Food Chains

Enquire today

If you are interested in finding out more or booking one of our on-site school workshops, please get in touch using the below form.

Please tell us which workshop you are interested in:
Owl Pellet InvestigationConservation in ActionNational Bird of Prey HospitalBird of Prey AdaptationsHabitat SurveysAsk the ExpertArt WorkshopLife through DanceLife in WordsSarson Falconer DisplayI'm not sure yetI only want to book a visit, I'm not interested in the workshops

Did you know?
Feathers can account for about 14-20% of the total weight of a bird.
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