UPDATE: Food Webs … Owl Pellets

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The Food Webs…Owl Pellets event includes online submission of observations, explanations, and conclusions. We have received data describing more than 350 owl pellet observations!

Students will be asked to respond to three follow-up questions about owl pellets and food webs. The responses do not need to be lengthy, but should show reasonable understanding of the concepts. Please be sure the work submitted is student work.

The followup questions below are provided so that you can prepare for the online submission when it opens. Do not respond until the link is live on the website. Only online submissions will be accepted. Each team (school) may submit only one response to the questions. The first submission received will count as the submission for your team.

Part 2 – Follow-up Questions

Question #1
Science Olympiad students examined more than 350 owl pellets for this activity. The most common prey species found in the pellets were voles. Many of the prey species found in the owl pellets you examined are most active at night. Describe two important adaptations that make owls effective predators at night.

Question #2
Many of the prey species found in the owl pellets are commonly found in fields and agricultural land. How would the conversion of natural fields or agricultural land to urban and suburban land use affect an owl population?

Question #3
After examining more than 350 owl pellets, we have learned that the most common number of prey found in pellets is two. The data submitted by the Science Olympiad students indicate that more than half the pellets had either two or three prey in each pellet. Find out how many pellets a barn owl usually produces each day. About how many prey does a barn owl eat in a year? What impact does this have in the ecosystem where the owl lives? 

Lastly, the second submission deadline has been extended to Friday, January 19, 2018.

Click to download a copy of the description of Food Webs ... Owl Pellets: Part 2.