Most have never seen an owl regurgitate a pellet. Watch this amazing close-up action of a barred owl expelling two!
An owl's digestive system can only dissolve types of tissue that include muscle, fat, skin, and internal organs. This process takes place in the gizzard.
Indigestible material, such as teeth, skulls, claws, and feathers are too dangerous to pass through the rest of the digestive system, so they are regurgitated in the form of a pellet.
The process of regurgitating a pellet can last a few seconds up to a few minutes. The pellet is forced out by the spasms of the owls esophagus. Although it might look painful, it actually is not.
An owl can store a pellet for up to 20 hours before it is regurgitated. It must be ejected before the owl can eat again.
I was fortunate to film this young barred owl after it had recently left the nest. It was an amazing surprise when, after only filming for a few minutes, it decided to regurgitate not only one, but two pellets!
Definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience!