Posted by Bob Lefebvre
By now most birders in Calgary have heard about the Northern Saw-whet Owl that was found in Carburn Park last Thursday. Phil Smith was there when it was found, and he captured an amazing sequence of pictures that show the owl coughing up a pellet.
Owls and many other birds regularly regurgitate pellets, which consist of the indigestible parts of the food they eat. Saw-whet owls eat a lot of Deer Mice, and their pellets contain mostly bones and fur.
Although these owls are thought to produce one pellet per day, it is a rare sight to see, and even rarer to photograph. The pictures have been assembled into a short video.
Below is the complete sequence of photos showing the owl coughing up the pellet. (Photos by Phil Smith, used by permission.)
To see more of Phil Smith’s photos, see his Flickr Page.
Anne Elliott also captured a photo of the pellet being produced:
To see more of Anne Elliott’s photos, see her Flickr Page.