The next time you go for a walk in the woods, lookout for owl pellets and join in an exciting new citizen science project!
Owls eat a variety of animals, then regurgitate the coarser material like hair, bones and feathers in the form of pellets. Pellets can be found on the ground, below places in trees where owls roost.
The Maine Owl Pellet Project (MOPP) is a collaboration between the University of New England, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. They are using owl pellets to learn more about the diet of owls and owl prey. By identifying prey parts, they hope to discover new locations where the rare northern bog lemming is found in Maine to inform conservation efforts.
Photo: Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife