[Solved] barred owl pellet dissection report

The question that has been asked is: what is the diet of a Barred owl? In order to figure this out, information was researched and a Barred owl dissection took place. Owl pellets are the undigested parts of an owl’s food, such as hair, fur, bones, and claws. The owl’s body then turns them into a round pellet-like shape and coughs it up through the beak. From what was found in the pellets, the Barred owl’s diet consists of plenty of rodents and shrews, and rarely some moles and birds.

Barred owls live year round in mixed forest environments, filled with large trees that are commonly near bodies of water. Their preferred habitats range from swamps, stream sides, and uplands that may contain hemlock, maple, oak, hickory, pine, and more. Barred owls rely on secondary tree cavities for nests, but during the day they stay on a well-hidden perch and rely on good camouflage to avoid harm. Barred owls eat many animals including squirrels, chipmunks, mice, rabbits, and much more. They hunt by waiting on a high up perch while scanning for prey with their sharp eyes and ears. Accationaly the Barred owl will perch over water and drop down slickly to catch fish.

Though they do most of their hunting after sunset, sometimes they feed during the day. Though Barred owls hunt from the perch most of the time, they will also hunt on the wing. The wingspan of barred owls is between 107 and 111 cm. The Barred owl has many traits that can help it hunt for/find their prey. They have round heads lacking ear tufts and large brown eyes that help them spot their prey in any light. They also have a horizontal barring on their throats.

A very cool feature is its vocal repertoire, in addition to its distinctive 8 note hooting call, this owl projects a loud series of spectacular vocalizations. Barred owls have a well varied diet. They eat many small mammals, especially rodents such as mice and voles. They eat a wide variety of reptiles such as lizards and snakes, and additionally amphibians such as frogs and salamanders. They will occasionally eat insects, along with other types of birds.

I hypothesize that the owl that took ownership in the pellet I dissected, ate lots of rodents, shrews, moles, and few birds. I also think that there are plenty of animals where my owl’s habitat is located. I don’t think that the Barred owl would be able to survive easily in Hoboken because there are almost no rodents, shrews or moles roaming around here. The owl would have to live off of birds, and many would cause the owl sickness or disease. There is also a high risk of getting hit by a car.

In order to test my hypothesis, an owl pellet dissection was conducted so that we could view the diet of the Barred owl. To begin the dissection, a lab coat and goggles were required to insure safety while handling the owl pellet. Tool trays were received stocked with 1 owl pellet, scissors, tweezers, a teasing needle, and a magnify glass. Gloves were distributed as well, to keep our hands clean, and prevent any bad germs from making contact with hands.

To lead off the dissection, The unwrapping of the tinfoil that had been inclosing the pellet took place. Cutting the pellet in half occord after consideration of where multiple bones may have been located. Each partner took a half and started to work on finding bones throughout the pellet. The teasing needle was a great tool for poking through the hair and fur to find all the bones and claws.

At first a rodent leg bone was found; it was thought that the Barred owl we were examining had a diet that consisted of rodents. Thenceforth, more and more evidence of prey was discovered, such as scapulas, jaws, skulls and more. Once the pellet was fully dissected, the bones were cleaned off and sorted into categories. When the sorting was completed, the bones were transferred and glued to a sheet lined with columns to sort the bones into category.

I accept my hypothesis due to the fact that the graph proved my hypothesis right by stating that the Barred owl ate lots of rodents, shrews, and moles, while also stating that it ate very few birds. The over all results turned out pretty good. All types of rodent bones were found except the scapula and rib bone. The most common bone found was the hindlimb, in total twenty were found! The least common bone found was the forelimb, only three were found. The dissection itself went pretty smooth. The only error that was made was one or two bones being cut in half.


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