Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Virtual Owl Pellet Options

For those of you studying owls this fall, and contemplating the pros and cons of real verses artificial owl pellets, before you clear the kitchen table, and prep your oven for sanitizing the regurgitated remains of an owl's lunch, you might want to consider your virtual options.

We tried out a couple this evening, and found them fun, informative, and mess free. offers a free virtual owl pellet.  As you move, and click the mouse, you dismantle the pellet, and can move the bones inside to a labeled, or unlabeled bone chart to fill in a small skeleton, while interesting facts about owls flash across the screen.  D (age 11) worked happily through the site this evening, and gave it a positive review.

We also tried out an Owl Pellet Adventure app on the Kindle from  

The Owl Pellet Adventure is the first in what is supposed to be a series of K-6, interactive science apps.  It provides information about owls in a short story form, allows children to virtually dissect three pellets, and put together three different skeletons - a vole, a shrew, and a mole, as well as fill in a food web, and take a short, self-grading quiz.

We found the video story a little hokey, and a bit glitchy, but the dissection portion was interesting, the bone charts, and food webs informative, and I appreciated the short quiz at the end.  We paid $1.99 for the app on Amazon.  It was worth it for my younger two (ages 8 and 9), but for older children I'd probably stick with the free options available online.


Michelle said...

This is VERY cool! Thanks so much for the review it is much needed!

Ticia said...

Very cool. We found a fake "real" owl pellet to dissect in person, but I found the actual kit to be a bit of a let down because it practically fell apart as you opened it, so not much dissection there.

Angelic Scalliwags said...

We have done both the real and the computer generated one and we all enjoyed both. It is much clearer on screen to know what you are looking at though!

Kristin said...

My kids had the opportunity to dissect two owl pellets at the library last week and they LOVED it! It was so much fun to figure out what bones they uncovered. My boys' owl seems to have eaten a rodent, but the pellet my daughter dissected also had a bird skull!

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

This sounds like my kind of owl pellet dissection. My son actually got to do this in kindergarten last year with a real pellet - and then they sent him home with the bones!