MDC offers free virtual owl pellet dissection class Dec. 16

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Kansas City
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Kansas City, Mo. – Owls are fascinating birds of prey. One way to learn what they prey upon for food is to dissect owl pellets. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will offer a free virtual class on dissecting owl pellets from 10 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16. The workshop is hosted by MDC’s Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in Blue Springs.

Participants can pick up owl pellets at Burr Oak Woods through Friday, Dec. 15. They can then dissect those pellets at home during the virtual class.

Owl pellets are interesting because they reveal what prey the raptor has been consuming. Owls often swallow their prey whole. They commonly consume mice, voles, small birds, and other prey. Soft tissues pass through their digestive system. But indigestible bits like bones, teeth, fur, and feathers are formed into an oval mass that the owl later regurgitates as a pellet. The pellets are often found below owl roosting spots.

This virtual class is open to participants ages 8 and older. Registration is required. To register, visit A few slots are left for an in-person owl pellet dissection class from 10 to 11 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 21, at Burr Oak Woods Nature Center. To register for the in-person session, visit