Nelissa Boodaghyan, 10, wrapped bits of tinfoil around her fingers before picking up a regurgitated owl pellet the size of a chicken wing.
“I am not a nature lover,” she conceded sheepishly.
But finding her improvised finger protectors too cumbersome, she flicked them off and got to work. Nearby, her Jefferson Elementary School classmates did the same, finding in the crusty masses remnants of rodent skulls, mole vertebrae and bird legs.
“I found teeth,” someone called out.
The pellet dissection was one feature in “Walk on the Wild Side,” a hands-on learning experience at Deukmejian Wilderness Park in La Crescenta to complement the fourth-grade science curriculum.
“It shows them another world,” said Dottie Sharkey, head of the Glendale Parks and Open Space Foundation, which is helping the city of Glendale sponsor the series. “It is what they learn in the classroom, and they come out here and they see it.”