Owls

Going out on a nature hike to try to spot an owl in the morning is a difficult task to do. Since we most likely will not see one in the wild, the next best thing to do is learn about owl pellets and dissect some pellets to see what we can find!

Radnor Lake State Park and Laurie at the aviary are an amazing resource to Middle Tennessee! Last year, she gave me some pellets from their beautiful great horned owl and we enjoyed using them this morning to find rodent skeletons. It also happened that this month in the Tennessee Wildlife magazine there was an article on the screech owl! I brought the magazine along with a few other picture books about owl species.

The most common owls of Tennessee are:
Eastern Screech
Barred
Barn
There are also:
Great Horned
Short-eared
Northern Saw-whet

https://www.tn.gov/twra/wildlife/birds/
http://www.tnwatchablewildlife.org/woodworkingforwildlifedetails.cfm?uid=12101813413369962

Here’s the lesson plan for the day!

*Gathering Song
*Story Share (with the Story Stick)
*Hike
*Story/snack (instead of a narrative story I sang a song tale about three little owls. You can get the music here!)
*Owl Pellet dissection
*Nature drawing while teaching about the animal and taxonomy
*Predator/Prey game – We made a large circle while holding hands to make the “forest” and one student is the owl (with a blindfold) and one student is the mouse in the center of the circle. The owl must use all senses but sight to hunt its prey in the circle! If the owl tags the mouse, the owl wins. If time runs up and the owl doesn’t find the mouse, the mouse gets to live another day! This game is great for students to really use their listening ears and extra sense to try to anticipate where the mouse might be in the circle! It’s also important that the “forest” remains absolutely still and silent for the owl to be able to hunt!
*Thanksgiving Song

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