Learn about what owl pellets reveal at free MDC virtual program Feb. 16

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Kansas City
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Kansas City, Mo. – Find a nest or perch tree for owls and you may see some odd-looking pellets on the ground with hair and bone. Owl pellets reveal what the raptors of the night have been feeding on. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will offer a free virtual owl pellet dissection program from 2 to 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 16.

Owls primarily feed on small mammals, such as field mice and rabbits. But they will also eat small birds or reptiles. What they can’t digest, owls vomit back up in pellets. Dissecting those pellets reveals the telltale fur, bones, claws, and feathers of what they’ve been feeding on, said Stephanie Kemp, MDC naturalist at the Burr Oak Woods Nature Center. The pellets also show the dynamics of predator and prey relationships in forest ecology.

This program will be led by Kemp and is open to all ages. Registration is required. To register, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/44Y. An active email address is required to receive the invitation to the program.