Owl casting a pellet: “I can’t believe I ate the while thing”

Great horned owls eat rats, mice and other small critters, and they swallow their prey whole or in pretty large pieces – they don’t have teeth and can’t chew.

They digest all the bits that have some nutritional value and then later they throw up and bones, fur, and feathers in a neat and tidy pellet.

We like the way the owl in this video watched his pellet drop all the way down to the dry creek-bed, about 20 ft below. He seemed amused – or perhaps he was impressed by the size of the thing he’d thrown up? After he had flown off for the night, Dan and I went and picked up the pellet. It contained a whole rat’s skull, which we still have.

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