El Tecolote © 2014 . All rights reserved.

EL TECOLOTE

 

El Tecolote

Exploring the vast volcanic landscape I often come across owl pellets.  The owl catches its prey (usually a mouse, vole or woodrat) and swallows it whole. Owls cannot digest fur, teeth and bones so the following day, before he goes in search of his next meal, he coughs up a pellet.  I collect the pellets, dissect, clean, sort the bones and make paleo mosaics. I love that from a distance a paleo girl appears to be an alluring seductress but when you get up close you see she is made of rodent bones.
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Great Horned Owl, Tumalo, Bemd, OR

 

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Owl Pellets

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Encantada

Four braids and a squirrel

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Special thanks to Robert and Gretchen Pederson for photos of the Common Barn owl (Tyto alba)  and the Great Horned owl  (Bubo virginanus)

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5 Comments

  1. Ellen Coffin

    Love the owl photos, El Tecolate, and the radiant diversity of bones in the Raven! Finally, a blog worth reading!

  2. Joseph Adorno

    Intriguing, Where do find so many pellets from owls?
    What is the process like to clean and prepare them?
    J

  3. Thanks Ellen and Joseph, I appreciate what you both wrote. I find the owl pellets on hikes especially at the base of cliffs and in canyons. I dissect them, wash the bones, soak them in a mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide for a week or so, then dry and sort them .
    I am obsessed with making them- I kind of go into a trance!

  4. Mary Hanley

    LOVE THIS!!!! I am loving being witness to the whole process. It’s magical!

  5. Thanks Mary! I’m excited to be working on a new way of using bones where I stitch them onto fabric. I’m also working on ideas for how I will use the bones of my three beloved cats Catalpa, Chacho and El Capitan. They had been buried for 3 or 4 years and it made me sad that they were just there underground so I dug them up and it was better than I thought. There was no fur , only bones . I can’t wait to make something from them.

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