Sunday, May 27, 2018
Education

Hudson library program draws some kids with gross factor

HUDSON — Caiden Beal, wearing plastic gloves and wielding a pair of tweezers, felt like he was hitting pay dirt as he gingerly pulled another hidden treasure from the greenish-brown, musty-smelling owl pellet he was dissecting.

"So far, I have three skulls and a bunch of teeth, and I'm only halfway through it," he said as he dipped his latest find into a shallow bowl of water to wash away the debris. "See, it still has a lot of muck on it, but you can tell it's another skull."

Awesome or disgusting, depending whether you're into digging through owl puke to find the remains of what kind of creature had been served up for supper.

Unlike snakes that also swallow their prey whole, owls cannot digest fur, bones and feathers. So after an owl has eaten, a pellet is formed out of the leftovers, so to speak, and then regurgitated 16 to 20 hours later.

"I think it's pretty gross," said Emma Hudgins, 11 as she pulled her owl pellet apart at a nearby table. "But it's also pretty interesting."

Whether the circle of life scenario is up your alley or not, the owl pellet dissection activity is a way to practice hands-on science while learning something about the diet and digestive system of birds of prey.

That was the thought when Hudson youth librarian Wendy Rutherford put in an order for some sterilized owl pellets and added the dissecting activity to the library's summer youth program.

"We do craft programs and story times, but this is the first time we've done something like this," Rutherford said, adding, "I'm trying to get the guys in with the gross scientific factor."

School is out, and kids like Caiden and Emma have been making the trek to their local libraries to log the books they've been reading while partaking in some fun and educational activities.

"I try to come to every activity, and I get books most of the time," Caiden said, adding that he is an avid history buff. (He said the Revolutionary War is his favorite thing to read about.)

"But this is good. It's fun, you know. You get to find stuff, and you get excited when you find something like a skull or a rib."

Contact Michele Miller at [email protected] or (727) 869-6251. Follow @mimichele525.

Comments
Sparks fly among Hillsborough School Board members as private messages are leaked

Sparks fly among Hillsborough School Board members as private messages are leaked

TAMPA — Somebody got into Hillsborough County School Board member Melissa Snively’s Facebook account, copied her messages and gave them to a newspaper publisher who is a friend of her rivals on the board.The posts discussed politics and power struggl...
Published: 05/25/18
Eckerd College student who fell before graduation has died

Eckerd College student who fell before graduation has died

ST. PETERSBURG — An Eckerd College student who was critically injured last weekend during an accidental fall on campus shortly before she was to graduate died today, the school announced.Rebecca Ryan "Becca" Lavin-Burgher would have graduated with a ...
Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18
A school resource officer allegedly told a gay student she would go to hell. Now he’s going away.

A school resource officer allegedly told a gay student she would go to hell. Now he’s going away.

The stares and whispers started on the first day of school more than two years ago, when Liv Funk and Hailey Smith silently declared their relationship in the halls of North Bend High School by holding hands.They knew coming out would be hard in the ...
Published: 05/24/18
What is a college’s responsibility to parents when a student is suicidal?

What is a college’s responsibility to parents when a student is suicidal?

CLINTON, N.Y. — In the days after her son Graham hanged himself in his dormitory room at Hamilton College, Gina Burton went about settling his affairs in a blur of efficiency, her grief tinged with a nagging sense that something did not add up.She fi...
Published: 05/24/18
Hillsborough teachers hope to get some, but not all of their raise money

Hillsborough teachers hope to get some, but not all of their raise money

TAMPA — Teachers in Hillsborough County came closer on Wednesday to reaching an agreement with the school district that would give them most, but not all of the pay they expected this past year.The deal, if it happens, will end a year-long conflict t...
Published: 05/23/18
Ridgewood High faithful recall ‘Pride of Pasco’ as school forges a new path

Ridgewood High faithful recall ‘Pride of Pasco’ as school forges a new path

NEW PORT RICHEY — The line snaked through the hallways and into the cafeteria, as the Ridgewood High faithful waited for their chance to secure a piece of the school’s 40-year history.They came by the hundreds — current and former students, staff and...
Published: 05/23/18
Words of wisdom from Class of 2018 on how school shootings have transformed them

Words of wisdom from Class of 2018 on how school shootings have transformed them

TAMPA — The pain of the Parkland shootings Feb. 14 was fresh on the minds of Hillsborough County’s graduating seniors when about 300 of them received an assignment. Write a 250-word essay on how decades of school shootings have touched y...
Published: 05/23/18
Company in charge of Hillsborough substitute teachers weighs in on problem cases

Company in charge of Hillsborough substitute teachers weighs in on problem cases

TAMPA — The company hired by the Hillsborough County School District to fill more than 170,000 substitute teaching shifts every year is defending its record, saying it works to get to the bottom of allegations against employees, treat them fairly and...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/25/18
Sheriff: Weeki Wachee High student posted fake school shooting threat

Sheriff: Weeki Wachee High student posted fake school shooting threat

WEEKI WACHEE — A 16-year-old was arrested Tuesday on allegations that she created a fake social media post threatening to shoot students at Weeki Wachee High School, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.Deputies said the 16-year-old told...
Published: 05/22/18
Hillsborough school district, teachers move closer to pay deal

Hillsborough school district, teachers move closer to pay deal

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District and its teachers’ union moved closer to resolving their salary dispute during Monday’s negotiating session — but stopped short of reaching an agreement.The teachers, who have spent this school year work...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18