What do the Barred Owls of Bond Park Eat?

This Barred Owl snoozes in the pine roost on the east side of the Lake Trail:

Snoozing the day away...

I’ve read that Barred Owls eat a variety of things including small rodents, birds, and sometimes crayfish. I’ve even read that when owls eat lots of crayfish their belly feathers show more pink. Makes sense, but I’m not the expert. One thing I do know: nonbirders love owls. One of the best ways to get people interested in birding is to show them birds they are already facinated with. I’m not sure why popular culture loves owls and not other birds. But I’m glad the owls provide a window into the amazing and wonderful life of birds all around us.

But back to what they eat. Thanks to a few owl pellets below the pine roost at bridge #7, we now have some idea:

Contents of Bond Park Barred Owl Pellets

I’m no expert but it’s pretty clear that the items on the right are crayfish parts. I am assuming that the items on the left are bones of rodents, perhaps including some bird bones but I’m not sure. I tried grouping like bones together. There are rib bones, hip bones, teeth, and perhaps claws as well as jaw bones with teeth still embedded in their sockets. Clumps of rodent fur are not shown here but were present in the pellets.


About birdingatbond

I love birding! And I live near Fred G. Bond Metro Park in Cary, NC.
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