Wild Owl Pellets Can Be Disease Vectors February 21 2017

Field mouse, owl prey

Owl pellets are made out of the indigestible parts of their prey—bones, fur, claws and teeth. But they also serve another important purpose for the owl. Regurgitating pellets, which pass through the bird’s gullet on the way back up, scour and cleanse the digestive tract, removing pathogens and keeping the bird healthy. In fact, those who keep birds of prey like owl and falcons can use the state of the pellets to gauge their birds’ health.

Prey animals like field mice have actually learned to avoid the pellets because they are sources of infection. However, some of the germs in owl pellets, such as Salmonella, can also infect humans. That’s why all the barn owl pellets from Pellet.com are sterilized before being shipped for classroom use.

When you’re looking for a great hands-on biology or ecology lesson for your students, it’s important to have safe materials and the best tools. Make sure to only use owl pellets that have been sterilized and safe for human handling, like those from Pellet.com.