No, no, no…the title does not refer to this doe, or any of her kin. She’s just grazing in the yard until I run her off – Sweet Cleo is asleep on the job – and taking the first photo spot, to spare anyone with delicate sensibilities from the photo at the bottom.
Read no further, if bones give you the willies!
Ok. You’re dismissed, Deer.
Ok, have you ever seen an owl pellet? I found one last week…
We have lots of owls here year-round, but I hear them closer to the house in winter. Maybe the warm air leaking from my drafty house draws the prey closer, I don’t know. I also don’t know what variety of owls they might be, having never gotten a decent look at one. They’re big, though. Maybe Barn Owls, maybe Great Horned – I’ve seen them in the moonlight, on rare occasions.
Owls eat small rodents, which makes them more than welcome in my garden. Unlike hawks, which hold their prey in their talons and tear off bites, owls swallow their prey whole. Their digestive systems take the usable material, and compress the non-digestable (hair, bones, etc.) into pellets, which the owl , um…expells.
That’s a gentle way to say “pukes-up,” right?
Scientists study owl pellets, dissecting them to learn all sorts of things, from the health of an individual bird, to the variety of rodents in the hunting area. People collect and sell them. I was surprised to find them offered for sale on eBay…
Last chance. Click away if you don’t want to see it…
Personally, I find them fascinating.