Great horned owl: "I can't believe I ate the whole thing"

December 20, 2020

Not for the squeamish. The male great horned owl, on his perch by the creek and getting ready to fly, decided to divest himself of the uncomfortable parts of last night’s supper – and up it came. The slow motion replays are eye-wateringly gross. We’ve never seen a pellet this big.

If you watch carefully you can see him lift his fluffy skirts briefly for a quick poo, too. And then, housekeeping and hygiene taken care of, off he flew.

The pellet itself was fascinating. Grey and white fur, some quite long, two 2″/5 cm femurs, a tibia of about the same length, and a fibula, as well as a few small vertebrae and a tiny claw. Not a squirrel, or a fox, or a skunk, or a raccoon – the fur was the wrong color. Not a rat – the fur was too short and the bones too large. Our best guess at this stage is a small possum (though the claw seemed too small for a possum). We’d be interested to hear suggestions.