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    Home / Science projects / Owl Science Projects
    • Owl Science Projects

      Owl Science Projects

      Owl Eyes

      Explore how an owl's eyes function differently than your eyes with this simple project.  You will need a cardboard tube, such as one from a roll of toilet paper. 

      1. Cover one eye with your hand. Hold a pen or pencil about a foot in front of your face. (You can have a helper do this for you, if you want.)
      2. Keep looking straight ahead while you start moving the pencil to the side. Even though your eye is facing forward, you should still be able to see the pencil out of the "corner of your eye." Stop moving the pencil when you can't see it anymore. How far did it get to the side before it disappeared?
      3. Now, hold the tube up to one eye and look through it at the pencil in front of your face. Start moving the pencil to the side - how far did it get before it disappeared?
      4. This time turn your head as the pencil moves so you can still see it through the tube. Stop when you get to the point where the pencil disappeared in step two. How much did you have to turn your head to see the pencil at that point?

      Owls have two eyes, just like us.  But the way they see is different.  Because of their eyes, an owl can see much better in the dark than we can.  However, an owl can only see straight ahead.  This is why they need such flexible necks, so they can turn their entire head in nearly every direction.  An owl's eyes cannot move around like ours can.  Try looking up, towards the ceiling, only moving your eyes.  An owl would have to lift his head to do what you just did.

      Our eyes are in front, on our face.  But we can see to the side without moving our heads! This is called peripheral vision. Our eyes are able to take in a lot. What we see with both our eyes open is called the field of view.  We have a wider field of view than owls do.  When you held the tube up to one eye, it narrowed your field of vision.  You were no longer able to see out of the "corner" of that eye.  This is similar to how an owl sees all the time.

      Owl Pellet Dissection

      Owls are birds of prey, which means they hunt small animals like mice.  Owls often swallow their meal whole, then spit out the fur and bones that can't be eaten, and they come out in a small pellet, a little smaller than an egg.  Dissecting an owl pellet is a good way to learn about the eating habits of birds of prey. 

      A partially dissected owl pelletTo do this project, you'll need an owl pellet. Look carefully at the outside of the pellet.  How big is it?  Can you see any feathers?  Look for clues that tell you where the pellet was found.  Guess how many different animal skeletons the pellet contains.

      Next, gently pull apart the pellet, being careful not to break any of the bones inside it. Use toothpicks to separate the bones from the fur or feathers.  Match the bones that you have found to a bone chart, to help you figure out which animal they belonged to.  How many different kinds of animals did you find in the pellet? What does this tell you about where the owl lived?

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    By: melissa
    Date: Oct 09, 2015

    thank you