I think this is a pellet, however rather big at 1 1/2 inches long for an owl? Any idea who could have dropped it, found on the side of a forestry road in the forest.
No interactions present.
Can't offer an ID, but an inch and a half is certainly not too big for an owl.
My Flickr photos...
enlargement of the material seems more quill than hair like.
thought of sea urchin but dont see traces of shell.
perhaps fish bones which would make the owner most likely a heron ?
Did you open the pellet up?
Looking at the photo it looks like the hairs from a winter coat of a deer, which would fit well with the Leanachan area. That would then lead to a number of possibilities of carrion eaters on a dead deer - Raven, Hooded Crow, Buzzard, but it seems a bit small for either of the eagles which could cocur in the area.
All the best
Dried it out and opened it up to-day, no bones in it at all, just seems to be a hair ball, any ideas?
What length were the hairs? Are they quite strong rather than very soft like a rabbit? - I still stick with my suggestion of hairs from a (Red) deer carcase and a pellet from Hoodie, Raven or Buzzard.
Yes, they are quite strong, like a deer, but short like a rabbits, so not sure which. Would a Hoodie or Buzzard cough up pellets like this?
Before this goes too far down a blind alley, look at these 'hairs' in the full size image. Many have a distinct structure - flattened, an extended point at one end, and forked at the other, and are remarkably constant in these features. I am not aware that any mammal has hairs of that sort. I am sure this is a bird pellet, but I am not sure the evidence is for mammal hair - not rabbit anyway. Plant matter? Man-made? Corvids and gulls will swallow anything.
Thankyou for your comments, a friend lent me a book to-day,and by a process of elimination, and photographs, I am more or less convinced that this is a sparrowhawk pellet. We do have many sparowhawks in this area.
I would have thought Sparrowhawk was very unlikely, as the species eats bird prey and the contents do not look to have an avian source.
I have looked at sparrowhawk pellets on a number of occasions - they are almost entirely composed of feathers and much smaller than this pellet - so like Ian I am confident this is not a Sparrowhawk pellet as it does not contain any feathers. I am still confident it is a deer carrion eater - Raven or Buzzard.
Thanks for tht information, it must be a buzzard, thanks for your help.
Thanks, Ian for that information, I think it m.ust be a buzzard. Thankyou for all your help.
Sorry I can't confirm a Buzzard (which it may well be from) as the possibility of other carrion eaters (eg Hoodie or Raven) aren't ruled out......
It's an awkward one to 'pigeonhole' to a species but we've had a good debate about it!
All the best and thanks for posting it
possibly coughed up by a fox.looks like rabbit fur.
Thankyou for your comment. Could be.
Yes, i opened it up to-day, and it is definately a fur ball, so could well be fox, or pine-martin, what do you think?
I think it is certainly a bird pellet, not a mammal scat.
when you opened it up what was the brown seaweed looking material ?
It was definately fur of some kind, fairly short, but quite like deer fur, although short like rabbits, I am not sure which. Quite coarse fur too.
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