Regurgitated Owl Pellet
Regurgitated Owl Pellet

Burrowing Owls, like many other birds, lack teeth to chew their food. Instead, they have very strong and sharp beaks that rip up their prey, and the large chucks are swallowed hole.  The digestive system is such that over time, the digestive process separates the softer material such as meat, from the harder material such as bone.  The owl then regurgitates the hard bone and other indigestible material such as fur and feathers in pellet form.

I recently had a science teacher on a tour to see the Cape Coral Burrowing Owls.  She asked me if Burrowing Owls regurgitate owls pellets, and I honestly answered her that I had never observed them doing so, and had never seen owl pellets near the burrow .

It wasn’t a few days later on another tour while we were busily watching the juvenile Burrowing Owls, that the adult flew off, away from the babies, and regurgitated an owl pellet. So yes, Burrowing Owls do indeed regurgitate owl pellets, like other owls. Check out the regurgitated owl pellet in front of this Burrowing Owl’s right leg.

Who could ever find an owl pellet in a decorated burrow like the one below.  This burrow is located near one of Cape Coral’s schools and had the biggest assortment of decoration of any burrow I have seen. Read more about what is occurring at this burrow at Owls and Poop

Owl Decoration at Cape Elementary School