Finding out what’s in the Barn Owl pellet


Barn Owl pellet contents

I teased apart the Barn Owl pellet and found numerous tiny bones, two skulls and three sets of lower jaw bones – all belonging to small mammals.  There were leg bones, obvious ribs, scapula and pieces of the backbone.

Small mammal skulls

After pulling all the bones out, and separating them the best I could from the fur and other material in the pellet, I tried to identify what they were.

Lower jaw bones

The jaw bones were key to identification.  Working with tweezers and magnifying glass three molar teeth were extracted, and the shape of these, along with the hole they left in the jaw-bone, made me pretty certain that the bones all belonged to voles – bank or field voles.

Teeth of a vole

Now onto the next pellet.




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