Archive for April 6th, 2015

Wildlife | Event: Learning from Owls

Monday, April 6th, 2015
Wise little owl.

Wise little owl.

This is Passport to Texas

Owls symbolize wisdom – and we can learn much from them when pick their… pellets.

09— It’s more dignified than digging through poo because you’ll be digging through vomit.

Amy Kocurek and I have different ideas about what’s dignified, but this interpretive ranger at Martin Dies Jr. State Park, in East TX does know how to keep visitors engaged.

10—The kids especially, they love it. Little furry, tin foiled wrapped up presents, that they get to unwrap and see what sort of mysterious surprises await inside.

Wrapped in foil? Yes, because you can order them online.

11— Most of them are from barn owls that people will collect from in their barns where owls just hack up these pellets; they’ll collect them and sanitize them and sell them for teachers, mostly.

Whether pellets are fresh or sanitized for your protection, those small, furry capsules have secrets to reveal.

33— Because it contains these almost perfectly preserved pieces of bones and beaks and different things the owl ate, researchers can see what their main food source is in the area that they’re living, if that food source is changing seasonally…. But also, if you’re doing population studies on small mammals, that will allow you to see how many different types of mammals are being eaten by owls. So, it can give you an all-round general idea of the population of animals in that ecosystem.

Dissect owl pellets with Amy Kocurek April 11at Martin Dies Jr. SP; details on the calendar at

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.