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September 29, 2020 - Who Cooks For You??

Updated: Oct 9, 2020

Eleven species of owls live in or visit Maine for all or a portion of the year. The great horned owl and the barred owl are the most widely distributed owls in the state.


We hear owls every night. We hear barred owls everynight!


Hey, lets ask the local frog catchers what barred owls sound like:




Barred Owls have a distinctive hooting call of 8–9 notes, described as “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?” This call carries well through the woods and is fairly easy to imitate. So easy that it's become our family call when we are looking for each other in woods. '


Deanna brought owl pellets for the girls to dissect last week. We are learning about who eats who and who eats what in the woods. Turns out that owl pellets are not owl poop.


Actually, let's ask Sarah what an owl pellet is:




After an owl eats the small rodents, birds, and bugs that are a part of its nightly diet, its stomach cannot digest the fur, bones, teeth, feathers, and insect shells from that food. These parts are formed into a tight pellet inside the owl and then are later spit up. (Apparently you can order them online for kids to dissect which is exactly what Deanna did)


Nothing beats owl pellets for the edification of budding biologists! Here's the skull Sarah found.



And the remains of the pellet after dissection:



Great Horned Owl


Barred Owl



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