I'm doing an extra post this week and next because I'm on half term this week. (The schools in my area get two weeks off this time of year because the children used to help gather the potatoes in the farms.)
This is one of the skulls that Michael the bone collector sent me (together with my amazing badger skull). A badger skull and an owl skull were two of the five skulls that I said I wanted to get this year so it's cool to get them.
I don't see many owls on walks. I think it might be because they mainly come out at night, and partly because owls are difficult to see if they are in trees. This skull is from a barn owl. Barn owls look amazing with a big heart shaped face. The shape of the face looks really different from the skull. The skull has a groove down the middle of it with bumps over the eyes. Pheasant skulls are a bit like this too.
Barn owls skulls have a beak with a hook at the end because it's a raptor which eats voles mice and shrews. They swoop down silently and catch their prey in their talons, which are strong and sharp like buzzards and ospreys. Sometimes you can find owl pellets in woods. Owl pellets are amazing things which are all the bits like bones and skin which the owl spits back out in one big lump. If you find one, you can pick it apart with cocktail sticks to find the skulls inside.
The best bit with this skull is that it has a lower jaw. It's really difficult to keep the lower jaw unless you rot birds down yourself, because the jaw can get lost. all my duck and geese skulls have lower jaws, but the other bird skulls don't.
There are tons of barn owls about but they are getting fewer and fewer because they are finding it difficult to find places to catch prey. People like the Barn Owl Trust are trying to keep as many of them as possible by making sure they have places to live.
The RSPB say barn owls don't really live where I live but I'm going to look out for them anyway.
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