Spring Peepers, Owl Pellets and Scat, Oh My!

 

We took a trip to a nearby state park last week and it was so nice! We had snow and dreary weather forecast for the foreseeable future, so we figured we should take advantage of the last nice day and really make the most of it.

The kids explored the woods, climbed trees, skipped rocks, hunted for cool bugs, took pictures, encountered wildlife, you name it.

We encountered various types of scat along the way and I challenged the kids to identify what animals they were from. I’m such a weird mom.  😉

Then, as Victoria and I were rescuing Jack from a tree, we spotted two owl pellets. Victoria scooped them up and started dissecting them right away at a nearby dock.

In case anybody doesn’t know what owl pellets are… Owls eat their prey whole, and then they cough up the compacted bits they can’t digest — fur, bones and such.  You can order owl pellets online and dissect them (you just get them wet and use any small tools to sort of separate out the bones and fur) and then compare the skeletons to those of typical prey animals to determine what animals the owl ate.  Once you have all the tiny bones separated, it’s a bit of a puzzle and mystery to try to determine who they might have belonged to.

These ones threw Victoria for a loop. Some were hollow, which she thought meant they were bird bones.  But then she also found a tiny shell and nut, which she thought might have come from the stomach of the prey animal.  And there definitely seemed to be fur, not feathers.

Jack observed a little while, but he was really busy upending large rocks and looking for cool bugs. Alex was busy mostly throwing rocks.

Anna took off with Daddy to go bird watching for much of the fun. They also watched a painted turtle wander about and finally ease himself into the water.  Mostly she just took pictures with her trusty camera.

The highlight of the day for me? Spring peepers.  I love that sound!

(The video won’t seem to embed for me the way it usually does.  I’m so technologically challenged!)

It was such a nice day! We’re usually the only ones in the whole state park, other than the wildlife (which included a wild turkey that day!).

The next day, it snowed, and we got days of snow and cold after that.  April is one of those months that definitely plays with your head and your heart!  No matter though, at least the grass was green under the snow and May and June are coming no matter what April pulls.  🙂

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