Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tiny bones, a hanger and a heart

Don't disappear when you see this picture! It is not what it looks like at first glance!
I was lucky enough to be given these rather strange looking objects a few days ago.
No, they are not fur balls brought up from one very fluffy feline!..... Any ideas?
I'll give you a clue... They come out of the most beautiful winged creatures!....
Some of you might have guessed that they are infact owl pellets.
Owls regurgitate these pellets after eating, to get rid of the things that they can't digest. When I was given the opportunity of aquiring some via my Dad, through a friend he has, whose job it is to ring owls and check their nesting boxes, I thought how interesting!



For anyone that might be a little squeamish. The pellets are totally dry, do not smell at all. Infact they felt rather soft, being mainly made of animal fur.



Pulling them apart carefully reveals just what this owl has been eating.....
Look carefully at the minute teeth on this skull...



The bones are so tiny I put a penny in the photograph to show just how small.


They are very fragile.
Isn't it amazing to see all natures detail in minature.






I didn't dissect all of the pellets, just three. I thought I would let the children have a go too.

I have also been working on some Owls this week. A hand painted heart and a hanger, that you can see here.....




These will be listed on Etsy shortly.

34 comments:

  1. That is so cool! We have some owls that land in our backyard tree and wake me up hooting in the middle of the night sometimes, but I haven't come across any owl pellets yet, although I do keep my eyes open for them.

    I found a wee little squirrel skull in the woods once and brought it home. Deer skulls too. Not sure why, but they are fascinating to me, like they hold so many stories...

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  2. Oh I know, I know - my son said... yes we are science geeks here!!! Love owl pelets - facinating aren't they. Once you get beyond the ewww factor!! I adore your new pieces!! Lovely hon!!!! Sarah

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  3. Hi Karen,

    Hope you have your card now? I must admit when i first saw your pics i was thinking oh my what are those photos of, phew, intereting but rather you than me lol. Love your owls, both of them, lovely :-)

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  4. What a coincidence! Just yesterday I came across an old poster I made for my Teaching Science class of a dissected owl pellet! I even still have it on my old website for my online friends to see... http://www.geocities.com/bunnykissd/OwlPellet.jpg LOL! They are the coolest things!

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  5. Hello there!

    I have just found your blog (through Purple Podded Peas) and what a delight it is! I really love your art work, its beautiful and evocative and I look forward to coming back to see you again soon!

    Im adding you to my list, so you're easy to find next time :)

    Sending spring sunshine and love
    Julia xxx

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  6. I love anything to do with owls. I remember one holiday in France when my boys were little we spent hours trying to find owl pellets but had no luck at all!

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  7. That is so fascinating! Tiny bird skulls are just so surreal.

    Yeah it did look like a pile of...ahem...ROFL

    Love the Owl hangers too :)

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  8. I glad I'm not the only one facinated by these things!

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  9. I didn't like the look of those pellets I must say, but when you revealed the dainty bones I was amazed! I love owls, I find them fascinating. You're so lucky being in touch with someone who looks after them.x

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  10. i ~Love~ owls
    Ever since Harry PoTTer...
    GREAT post, who wouldha thunk!?!
    X:-)

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  11. Oh wow, that is stunning! I don't remember ever looking in detail at an owl pellet. Those bones are so very small, I wonder which creature it was? Thank you so much - it's been like a mini natural history lesson - I love it. And I also adore your owl creations. D x

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  12. There's an exquisite beauty to the contents of those pellets. Wise ol owls eh? Showing and telling, we should watch, listen and learn more often. Thanks for a lovely post.

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  13. Gosh, that's so fascinating. Any idea what the skull used to be? I love the owls we have around our cottage. They make me feel quite protected somehow.

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  14. Fantastic! I don't find that gruesome at all. Nature is quite amazing. Its interesting that they eat creatures whole, obviously, then get rid of what they don't need/can't digest.

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  15. What an amazing discovery! That little skull is so tiny and perfect. I love the owl paintings too, very ethereal.

    Kim x

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  16. Really fascinating - thanks for this peek into an owl's world! We have a lovely tawny owl around here. I once saw him sitting on the wire above our house - just beautiful!

    Willow xx

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  17. I think the skulls are tiny mice or shrew. The biggest skull still has its front teeth (incisors) attached if you look carefully. My daughter took one apart when she came home from school yesterday, and found even more jaw bones with teeth and skulls in hers.

    Thanks for all of your comments :) x

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  18. I haven't looked that closely at owl pellets since I was at school, I had forgoten how fascinating they are. Love the barn owl heart. We haven't yet had a taker for our owl nestbox but I live in hope!

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  19. I didn't go away cause I had seen these before (grrl's blog?), and how fun to look into them for tiny treasures.
    I love your blog's name.
    Happy days,
    Joanie

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  20. We have a family of owls in our downtown city yard that leave these for us. The babies are so sweet. Lovely animals!

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  21. The little skulls are so tiny and fragile looking - it's interesting to see exactly what the pellets contain. I love your owl paintings - and the header to your blog too. Hares are a favourite of mine.

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  22. How fascinating! That tiny skull would look great on a window-sill somewhere...but poor old owls for having to regurgitate them! Hopefully I'll get to dissect an owl pellet one of these days.

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  23. soooo beautiful! I love owls.

    greetings, Anna
    please visit my blog
    http://loverforbooks.blogspot.com/

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  24. I have an affinity with Hare's my surname haas means hare. A lot of owls visit where I live, even the little owl which I have been lucky enough to spot on a few occasions. You have an enchanting blog. I am so glad I found it.
    x
    Sumea

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  25. My first visit -- interesting post. I did not know that about owls. Living in the city, we rarely see or hear an owl -- it's our loss!

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  26. Karen, its fascinating, not anything squirm inducing! a wonderful post!

    leanne x

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  27. My son and class went to the Audubon Center in Ct - very cool place and part of the thing was pulling apart the owl pellets - the little bones, we found one skull, fascinating. And when I looked up, all the Daddies had gone outside while all the Mommies were helping with the pellets...interesting who was grossed out and who was not...

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  28. I live on a small acreage and am always happy when I see these because, it means the owls are still around. I was surprised that more weren't going "Ewwwww" but its because your readers are my kind of people, the animal loving, nature loving, artist kind.
    Your blog is enchanting.

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  29. amazing...I had an art teacherat school who had tiny glass boxes which contained bones and decomposed animals.....what are you going to do with them?

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  30. I love your Owl artwork! Owls are my new power animal, they are so amazing. We had a Bald Eagle kill a Great Blue Heron in our back field. I believe many things feasted on this kill. But one thing was an owl, and judging by the size of the pellet, most likely a Great Horned Owl. The Pellet had the WHOLE foot of the heron in it, all in once piece.

    I love all your artwork, but especially these owl pieces!

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  31. I was totally fascinated by your dissection of the owl pellet because I did much the same thing many years ago. I picked it up whilst walking with my brother and he was convinced it was something rather nasty. I certainly wouldn't have dissected THAT. Anyway I am not sure if it was an owl or another bird of prey but it was very similar to yours but without that amazing little skull. I wish I had taken some pictures now.

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  32. My daughter brought home a bunch of these when they were studying owls at school (and my son built 'owl boxes' for the neighboring parks for his Eagle Scouting project). So very cool.

    Your owl heart is also lovely. I adore your handpainted hearts. All of them, apparently. :-)

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  33. This is incredible! I once found one into the woods and thought it was a fox who regurgitate it. But owls sound more interesting ;)

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  34. ooohh... I love this post.... and your illustrations and pictures are reallyreally nice. I'll retun for sure. Best regards.

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