Dissecting an owl pellet is a great science project for kids and...you can buy some if you don't have any - so no excuses!
This activity is part of our top ten science experiments for kids - that won't let you down!
You'll find a free e-book at the bottom of this page with details of all the other experiments that make home school science so fascinating.
You'll know from our outdoor crafts page that we love learning bushcraft and tracking animals in our homeschool.
Finding pellets adds an extra dimension to identifying tracks because you can actually find out exactly what prey the owl ate - which makes for a fascinating activity for kids.
Dissecting a pellet isn't a yucky activity; pellets are dry and very unsmelly - and if you're really worried you can buy heat treated sterilised ones.
And that's the exciting thing about this home school science activity - you don't need to wait until you find a pellet for dissection - you can order them really cheaply online.
It will help me if you use the links on my page, so thank you if you decide to use them.
And now I've proved it's easy to get started on your owl dissection activity, let's see how you can turn it into one of those great home school science lesson plans for kids.
It'll depend on your homeschooling methods as to how you want to do this home school science activity, but I'll put plenty of stuff in case you want to use this as the basis for school lesson plans.
Dissecting pellets is a perfect activity for the classroom too!
The goal of this home school science activity is to identify the types of prey that are consumed by owls by dissecting the contents of a pellet.
You could also explain that looking at prey remains is a real home school science kids activity because it gives an idea of the habitat the owls are living in and the numbers of the different prey they catch.
A great way to start your home school science dissection lesson is by finding out about owls in this slideshow.
It'll depend on where you live as to which pellets you use; I've seen a dissection activity for both great horned owls and eagle owls.
Perhaps the easiest pellet to collect is from a barn owl because - you often find them in old barns! At least that's where my children William and Catherine's home school science ones have come from.
This pellet dissection chart or the identification guide in this great book:
You'll find it's really easy for kids to identify the differences between rodent jawbones in this home school science activity lesson; the reddish brown tips to shrew teeth are a total giveaway!
In many ways this kids activity for home school science awakens the same instincts as becoming a fossil hunter and learning how to make a fossil is fun too!
If you're running a classroom activity, Eagle Bluff.org has developed a free printable with some excellent owl lesson plans for the classroom.
Of course, there are some really nice ways to round off this kids activity and build in more owl lesson plans:
Click on the picture to go to the page.