What is a pellet?

BNOWs ‘cast’ or regurgitate undigested parts of their food as a mass or pellet. A pellet is mostly comprised of fur and bones, and previously cast pellets can often be seen on the floor of the cavity as small, dark lumps.  You can also find owl pellets under the trees that they roost in.  Analyzing pellets can also tell you what they’ve been eating because you can identify prey species by skulls, bones and/or fur.

What do barn owls eat?

Barn owls eat a variety of vertebrates. Here, most are rodents, such as wood rats, mice or pocket gophers. For a list of all mammals found at Starr Ranch, see here. The adult female will bite off parts for the youngest chicks, but within 7-10 days chicks will rip off bits of prey on their own. By two weeks of age, they’ll consume a whole animal, as long as it is a small enough – such as a mouse.