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Event Series Event Series: DIY Owl Pellet Bone Box

DIY Owl Pellet Bone Box

October 22, 2022 @ 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

$20 – $25

Date: Materials pick-up on Friday, October 21, or Saturday, October 22
Time: Between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Location: DIY at home event (pick up materials at the Montana Natural History Center, 120 Hickory St., Ste. A)


Build your own creepy-cool bone box and learn all about owl pellets! This project ignites your inner forensic tendencies as well as your artistic side.

Sam Getty, a volunteer with the Philip J. Wright Zoological Museum at the University of Montana, provides an instructional video discussing the fascinating physiology of an owl’s digestive system and outlines techniques for building your own bone box. Your bone box goody bag is filled with everything you need to identify the bones in your pellet and create a spooky work of art.

Pick up your goody bag, watch the video (sent to your inbox on October 20), and start the science and art! You will dissect an owl pellet, carefully finding each bone, tooth, and maybe an entire skull. Brush off the fur (pellets are matted fur and bone, not poop) and try to match the bone to one on your identification chart. Do you have a shrew? vole? bird? Decide if you want to paint the bones white or leave them with their natural tint. Decorate your bone box with black paper and visualize the layout. Glue each bone down in any design or orientation you wish – fantastical or categorical. And you have a one-of-a kind naturalist installation!

This project is most suitable for ages 10 and above.

Instructor Sam Getty is a UM graduate, Montana Master Naturalist, and Zoological Museum volunteer. She leads tours of the Zoological Museum and assisted with MNHC’s Master Naturalist courses as our summer Adult Programs Intern. She can frequently be found preparing specimens, catching insects for collections, and assisting with a wide variety of wildlife biology research projects.

Your Bone Box Goody Bag Includes:

  • owl pellet
  • toothpick
  • bone identification chart
  • cardboard jewel box
  • glue
  • white tempera paint
  • small paintbrush for applying paint and glue
  • black cardstock

Note: We advise washing hands between handling owl pellets and eating food.

Cost: $20 MNHC members / $25 non-members
You can add an MNHC membership at checkout.



What’s the refund policy?
What’s the refund policy?
The course fee (minus a 25% administrative fee) is refundable if a cancellation is made up to 7 days before the event. No refunds will be issued for cancellations made after this deadline. This ticket is non-transferable to other programs or events. See our full refund/cancellation policy here.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?
Nope! We will have a list of all the attendees.


October 22, 2022
11:00 am - 4:00 pm
$20 – $25
Event Category: