[mou] Correction on owl balls
thomas at angelem.com
Wed Apr 2 09:09:02 CDT 2008
Well, we are certainly an open, sharing and communicating internet
family, aren't we. My goodness.
After sufficient feedback on my use of the term "owl ball" which is
what the Oklahoma University community at least one time called them
back in the 70's, I absorbed the prolific information I received from
feedback responses and did a little research to look into what exactly
is that thing that owl's up-chuck is called. I won't go into all the
details of what it is and why, and when and all the research done on
them, where to acquire them for instructional purposes, etc., etc.,
etc.. And I might add there is a lot out there on those subjects.
Let me get to my point.
It appears that there are a number of terms to describe the furry or
feathery mass that owl's up-chuck (please allow me the use of this
term rather than"regurgitation" as I am attempting to be "light").
The term - Most common by far is "owl pellet". Never, I repeat,
never, are they called "owl balls". Never - except in Oklahoma in the
70's - but that is another story altogether. Some respondents offered
"castings" - an accurate and acceptable term but would likely not land
the direct punch of "owl pellet" to the birding, scientific, or retail
communities - at least the internet ones. The term "bezoar" was by
far the most interesting offering and my research indicates that this
term more commonly applies to material that remains in the digestive
tract rather than being rendered to ground. Still, I think if that is
what everyone in your area knows the "pellets" as, it works for me and
apparently for you - plus it is definitely "local color" which paints
the uniqueness of our worlds.
From all of this I am again amazed at the awkwardness of the American
form of the English language. My recent marriage and frequent
communications with my step-15 and 18 year old daughters and wife have
shown me that if the goal is communication, surrendering to exacting
terms and language is best served to simply allow the other to get
your point. What one calls a tree another can call a conifer or a
plant or a fir or a trunk - especially in the context of what caused
the crumpled fender and hood to my borrowed car. Context is vital in
To put a majority of the respondents to my posting at ease and
expressing my appreciation and gratitude to your loving feedback,
allow me to rephrase my self: "My friendly neighborhood Barred Owl
dropped an owl pellet yesterday."
Another learning opportunity. Note to self. And thank you for the
I love this community!
Angel Environmental Management, Inc.
Maple Grove, MN
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