Owl pellets

Owl perch and entrance

Careful observers will notice where our visiting owl(s) have been perching. Not too difficult to see where they’ve been getting in.

Signs of birds perching on my Pole Lathe.

Signs of birds perching on my Pole Lathe.

There have been signs of a frequent visitor to our polytunnel over the Autumn.

Yes.

A lot of bird droppings.

The question was what kind of bird?

A similar thing happened a couple of years ago when we were lucky enough to have a barn owl stay in a barn for the winter months.

I’ve been so tempted to think that we could have another owl. Certainly a Tawny owl has been waking me up at night recently. Very close by. Calling.

Tawny’s are the ones that go Twit Twoooo.

Could it be that a Tawny Owl has found a good place to hunt for food in our polytunnel? I’ve no doubt there are mice and other small rodents in there.

This morning, I couldn’t believe my luck, I found evidence that it is an owl! On the plastic under the hammock stand not one but five owl pellets!

Close up of owl pellet number 4. Is that a tail or spine mixed in with the fur?

Close up of owl pellet number 4. Is that a tail or spine mixed in with the fur?

Owl Pellet number 5. More small bones.

Owl Pellet number 5. More small bones.

One of the pellets, the largest, was still wet!

It’s like a dream come true!

I walked around for the rest of the day with a huge smile on my face. I’d had owl saliva on my hands! How totally cool was that?

The questions are…

How do I find out for sure what kind of owl(s) without camping out in the polytunnel? I have no motion capture camera equipment.

Will dissecting the pellets give me a clue as to which owl(s)? I have no microscope or small animal skeletal knowledge.

What about the different sized pellets? Does that indicate two different types of owls or just different sized meals?

What should I do with my tender plants? It’s kind of getting to the time of year when I should close up the polytunnel ventilation at night.

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