Egret Pellets


"Warning! Owl and egret pellets may contain bacteria or viruses that can
cause illness in humans or pets. Whenever possible do not handle pellets. If
you do need to handle pellets wear gloves and a mask that will filter out
very fine particles. If pellets are removed from the field, they must be

Hawks, eagles, shorebirds, terns, herons, grebes, gulls, rails, shrikes, warbles, swallows and many other species of birds also regurgitate pellets. Study of these pellets or castings is a good way to determine the food preferences of birds. Scientists sometimes discover the presence of a species that was previously not known to be in an area.

The above was taken from the below link.

Pellet studies provide information useful to ecologists and conservationists who try to protect and manage these species.
It also provides scientific data that tells us how important these birds are to man because they do so much to control rodent populations.

As with any animal study, if you handle pellets from these birds, be sure to thoroughly wash your hands and take the necessary precautions to prevent you from getting any infections from disease organisms that might be contained on the pellets.


You say you have never seen one before? You didn't know they existed?

Well neither did I until I saw one being expelled directly from the mouth/beak/throat of a chick still in the nest.

While walking under the Egret rookery I started to notice them on the ground by the thousands or maybe even by the 10's of thousands.


Well as you may have already guessed, I just couldn't resist, I had to take a much closer look at these pellets.
Getting out my old dig cam I started making a record of them.


Below is what I have done.

This is what I was walking over, under the rookery.

The photo covers an area of 18 inches left to right and 12 inches top to bottom.

Just looking at the image may not indicated just how many pellets there are in this area.


I have tried to point out as many as I could.

I'll let you count them, it's to confusing for me.


Zooming in with the camera you can get a better look at them.


By removing the background you can get a better view of them.

Note the one on the left. It seems to have a stem area at the top. The outer casing seems to a very fine casing of some type.


Let's break one apart and see just what is inside.

As you can see it is very fibrous plus much other stuff.

We will be taking a closer look at what the arrows are pointing to.


The object in the center I believe is a the hard back shell of some type of bug or beetle.
Just above it and a little to the left is a bunch of legs from some thing.
Below that may be a smaller bug's hard shell.
The arrow on the extreme left is pointing to ( I don't know what)


Another beetle's shell.


Arrows are pointing to bug/beetle shells.

Just guessing I would say there about 1000 beetle/bug shells in this one pellet.


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