Knowing that Ioan had just written a non-chronological report on owls, some of our lovely friends found this owl pellet and asked whether the boys would like to dissect it. The answer was a resounding, “Yes!”

Ioan (7) is much happier researching in books, whereas Finny (5) likes a more practical approach. As long as Finny was prepared to get his hands dirty and Ioan could just observe, they were very very keen to see if they could work out what the owl had last eaten.

First, Ioan explained what an owl pellet was.

Finny tipped the owl pellet into a jar of warm water to loosen the feathers’ tightly matted hold on the bones.

Within seconds we could see the feathers softening.

Finny started gently removing some of the bones from the owl pellet.

When the bones are still being pulled out of the owl pellet it can be really hard to identify what they are at first. Finny was determined to find an arm bone!

They found some vertebrae (back bones) from the spine.

Taid was trying to see if Finny could recognised bones that were similar to ones he had seen previously.

The skull was the most exciting thing that Finny had found so far.

Predicting what animal the owl might have eaten.

Trying to extract the skull and jaw.

The second skull and jaw.

We then went on to identify whether it was a mouse, shrew or vole that the owl had eaten for it’s previous meal.

DfES Outcomes for EYFS and National Curriculum (2013)

Science Year 1 programme of study

Animals, including humans

  • identify and name a variety of common animals including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals

Science Year 2 programme of study

Living things and their habitats

  • identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants, and how they depend on each other
  • identify and name a variety of plants and animals in their habitats, including micro-habitats