About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Do Bluebirds Cough Up Pellets Similar to Owls?

Today (New Year's Day 2011) I observed 3 bluebirds in a tree near Lovettsville, VA and one of them appeared to regurgitate a pellet twice within about a minute. I looked later for the pellets to no avail. Was just wondering if bluebirds regurgitate in a manner similar to owls...? Thanks for any input, Kurt

The Eating of the Shrew
by Naturespeak
Happy New Year! That was a good observation.

Sometimes owls swallow prey like small birds, voles and shrews whole. Pellets are small hard, round objects that the owl regurgitates or coughs up eight to twelve hours after that meal. These pellets are clean of all flesh and are virtually odorless but contain the fur, bones, or feathers that owls can't digest. A post last week from Naturespeak gave great detail on a pellet dissection.

Bluebirds eat fruit, nuts, berries and bugs. They do not regurgitate any of their food even to feed their babies. If they were spitting something out it was probably a pit from fruit or the shell from a seed. Anything they can't digest or pass through their system is thrown out before they swallow.
Thanks for the question,
Sarah

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