Coaches Update for Food Webs ... Owl Pellets

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The first submission milestone for the Food Webs...Owl Pellets event is Friday, December 8, 2017. Students should have dissected a few owl pellets by that time and selected 5 owl pellets to report on. Although any member of the Science Olympiad team may collaborate on this event, only one submission will be accepted from each team. Students are encouraged to work together, discuss their observations and ideas, and prepare the online submission.

In order to help your students prepare their responses, here are questions that they can expect to encounter when they go online to submit their initial observations. You may share this information with the students.

Section One: Team information

After entering your school and team information, several sections will include these opportunities to share your observations.

Section Two: Owl Pellet Observations

In this section, you will be asked to describe the owl pellet, show that you have carefully dissected an owl pellet, and identify a few common bones.

  • Describe the overall appearance and size of the owl pellets.
  • Take a photo of the bones found in one owl pellet. Email one photo to sciolyowlpellets@gmail.com  Remember: Include your team number with the photo.
  • Identifying common bones in owl pellets: what is this bone? (There will be several bones to identify)

Section Three: Owl Feeding Habits: number of prey

For each of five owl pellets, you will be asked to respond to the following questions.

  • Owl Pellet #1: How many prey did you find in this pellet?
  • Owl Pellet #1: How do you know? Describe the evidence you have for your answer.

Section Four: Owl Feeding Habits: prey species

In this section, you will be asked to identify the type and number prey species you found in five owl pellets and what patterns you notice in your observations. For example:

  • Vole - In all five owl pellets, how many meadow voles did you find?
  • What do you notice about what the owls are eating?

Section Five: Owl Food Web/Habitat

In this section, you will be asked to describe a habitat that would support a food web that includes and owl and the prey species you have observed.

  • Think about a food web that includes an owl and the prey species you have identified.
  • Describe a habitat that would include this food web.