How to Trap a Backyard Bird

Thứ bảy - 27/04/2024 01:14
Trapping birds is illegal in many states and countries. However, there are exceptions for certain birds, and trapping birds for survival is a viable source of essential calories in the wilderness. If you're in the wild, trap away....
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Trapping birds is illegal in many states and countries. However, there are exceptions for certain birds, and trapping birds for survival is a viable source of essential calories in the wilderness. If you're in the wild, trap away. Otherwise, be sure to research local codes and ordinances to see if you need a permit.[1]

Method 1
Method 1 of 3:

Building a Wilderness Bird Trap

  1. Step 1 Use two sticks, a cord, a rock, and your pocketknife to build to an Ojibwa Bird Pole.
    This trap has been used in Canada since prehistoric times. It looks a bit like an upside-down "L." Birds will perch on the smaller stick, which is rigged to a simple noose that tightens when a bird lands on the perch. While it requires some knowledge of knots, the Ojibwa Bird Pole is the simplest, easiest trap you can make in the wilderness. You'll need:
    • A large branch, roughly the width of a few fingers and 5-6 feet long.
    • A pencil-thin stick, roughly six inches long.
    • A rock, roughly the size of your fist.
    • A 3-4 foot cord or rope. This can be a shoestring, a sleeping bag cord, a sturdy vine, or twine.
    • A sharp pocket knife.
  2. Step 2 Sharpen both ends of the longer pole.
    The bottom end will be driven into the ground, and the top needs to be sharp so that birds perch on your trap, not the pole.
  3. Step 3 Drill a hole through the pole near one of the ends.
    It doesn't need to be wide, just wide enough to push your thin stick through.
  4. Step 4 Tie one end of the rope firmly around your rock.
    The rock acts as your counter-weight, holding the trap in place until a bird springs it. Any knot will do.
  5. Step 5 Wedge the thin stick into the hole you drilled.
    It should be right next to the string, but the string should still move freely. You don't want to put the stick all the way in, just enough to keep it in place. This "perch" needs to fall under the weight of the bird in order to snare it.
  6. Step 6 Thread the string through the hole and tie a small knot in it.
    The weight of the rock will try and pull the string back through your hole. You want to make it so that, combined, the knot and the stick hold the rope in place, with the rock hanging freely about halfway up the pole. This may take some trial and error since your hole and stick size will be different depending on your materials.
    • The knot should be able to move freely through the hole in the pole when the stick isn't jammed in.
    • Some trappers tie the small knot first, then put the stick in. Experiment with what works for you.
    • You should have two feet of string or more on the other side of your knot.
  7. Step 7 Tie a slip noose knot in the end of the string.
    Take the end of the string and make a noose big enough to fit your fist through. To make a slip noose:
    • Double the string back on itself to make a U-shaped loop.
    • Run the end of the string back towards the top of the loop. It will look a bit like a flattened "S."
    • Wrap the end of the rope around the doubled line 2-3 times.
    • Pull the rope tight, cinching the wrap around the doubled string.[2]
  8. Step 8 Run the end of the rope through the noose knot, back towards the pole.
    You'll be left with a circle of rope draped over your perch. The end of the noose will be at the end of the perch, and the noose knot itself will be close to the pole. You should have two semi-circles of rope draped off of the stick.
  9. Step 9 Tie a simple overhand knot right where the two sticks meet.
    An overhand knot is simply when you create a loop and pull the string through. All you have to do is wrap the end around the rope near your hole, creating a circle, then run the end through that circle. This should be right at the point where your two sticks meet.[3]
  10. Step 10 Test the trap by gently pushing the perch down.
    As you do, the weight of the rock should pull the rope through the hole, which will quickly tighten the noose and grab your finger. Note, however, that these traps are very variable. Play with the size of the noose and the perch -- the closer they are to the same size, the more effective your trap will be. Also, try and tie the smallest knot possible in the beginning so that the rope can move freely through the hole -- you want it to snap shut quickly once the stick is removed.
  11. Step 11 Place your trap in an open area, where it is the best option for a bird to sit.
    If you place this trap in the woods, you significantly decrease the chances a bird will land there -- there are plenty of good trees around. Place it in an open area where it is the only place for them to land for the best results.
  12. Step 12 Note that this trap is a supplement for a survival diet, not a main source of food.
    Small birds, in general, only provide about 100 calories apiece. Unless you have 4-5 successful traps, there are much better returns on your investment when looking for food, including insects and game traps for rabbits and squirrels. Still, especially in the winter, these traps can be a viable source of nutrition when paired with other methods.[4]
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Method 2
Method 2 of 3:

Building a Household Trap

  1. Step 1 Build a backyard trap using a mousetrap, a cardboard box, and some string.
    This simple trap will drop a box on the bird, containing it until you get to it later. It can also be used to catch small game, like rabbits and squirrels.
  2. Step 2 Purchase a live rat or mouse trap.
    You want the "classic" kind -- a simple wooden board with a spring-loaded trap wire. You can find these traps at almost any hardware store.[5]
  3. Step 3 Cut a small hole in the middle of a cardboard box.
    The box should be about twice as big as the bird you want to catch.[6]
  4. Step 4 Nail the mouse trap into the ground.
    Place a nail in the center of the trap and hammer it into the ground. You should use a fairly long nail. It will secure the trap into the dirt so that it doesn't move when the bird lands.[7] Balance the box on one edge by slipping it slightly under the mouse trap.[8]
  5. Step 5 Tie a loop in one end of the thread.
    Temporarily loop it around part of the mouse trap. Thread the other end through the hole in the top of the box. Later on, you'll attach this loop to the spring. But, for now, you just need it looped somewhere on the trap to create tension in the line.
  6. Step 6 Tie a loop in the end of the thread opposite the mousetrap.
    Nail that end into the ground, pulling the nail out enough to tighten the line so that the box balances on one edge. The inside of the box should be facing the ground, with one side raised to allow birds to enter. Adjust the thread so that the highest edge of the box is only a foot or so in the air.[9]
    • The box needs to be high enough the a bird flies into it, but low enough that it can shut quickly.
  7. Step 7 Tie the mouse-trap end of the string around the spring.
    Load the spring but not the arm. You want the string to be on the mechanism that spring when a mouse (or, in this case, bird) steps on it. When the bird releases the spring, the box will fall around the bird, trapping it.[10]
    • The tension of the string is holding the box in place. Make sure you tie the string so that it sits correctly.
  8. Step 8 Place some bread or birdseed on the mousetrap as bait.
    Remember, you want the bird to land on the trap, springing it and releasing the string. It will cause the box to fall and allow you to trap the bird.[11]
  9. Step 9 Leave the trap alone for 6-12 hours.
    Constant human activity near the trap will scare birds away. If you see that the box has fallen, go check it to see if you caught anything.
  10. Step 10 Always wear long sleeves and gloves when grabbing a live bird.
    To get the bird out of your trap, lift the box slightly, reach in, and grab the bird firmly around the body. Wear gloves and long sleeves to prevent any pecking or scratching wounds.
    • There is always the chance that you'll catch a rabbit or squirrel as well with your trap since it is on the ground. Be ready for anything.
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Method 3
Method 3 of 3:

Catching an Injured Bird

  1. Step 1 Make sure the bird needs help.
    Sometimes adult birds simply need a moment to recover after running into something. Let the bird try to recover before you attempt to catch it. You may only injure it further as it tries to get away.[12]
    • Similarly, baby birds that have their feathers are often learning to fly, which is why they are out of the nest. Their parents are likely nearby, keeping an eye out, and they should be left alone unless they are injured.[13]
    • If you think a baby bird has been abandoned, call a wildlife rehabilitator. You can find one through your local veterinarian or wildlife agency. Humane societies can also help you find one. Once you call, the rehabilitator should be able to tell you what to do with the bird, such as leave it alone or bring it in.
  2. Step 2 Put on gloves.
    Birds carry diseases, mites, and bacteria. They can also injure you as you try to catch one. Putting on a sturdy pair of gardening gloves is a safe bet to help protect your hands.[14] If you are helping a bird of prey, upgrade to sturdy leather gloves.
  3. Step 3 Come up behind the bird.
    If possible, come up out of sight of the bird. Birds can fly away even with injuries, so you can startle it into flight by coming from the front.
    • Another method is to use a piece of cloth, such as a pillowcase. Come up behind the bird and drape the cloth over it.[15]
    • When you do pick up the bird, pick it up with the cloth around it.[16]
  4. Step 4 Have a box ready to safely store the bird.
    Use a small cardboard box. A shoebox works fine for this purpose. Poke holes in the top, and place something soft inside, such as a washcloth.
  5. Step 5 Know how to hold the bird.
    Hold small birds in one hand and big birds in two. With one hand, the bird's head should come between the first and middle finger. Wrap the rest of your hand around the bird's body. Rest one hand on either side of the body. Hold the bird firmly, but don't squeeze too tightly.
  6. Step 6 Transfer the bird to the box.
    Set the bird gently in the box and quickly put the lid in. Put the box in a quiet, dark area until you can call a wildlife rehabilitator.
  7. Step 7 Call your vet or your local wildlife authorities.
    They will have information about finding a local rehabilitator. Rehabilitators are trained to care for injured birds, so once you call one in your area, she can share information on what to do next.
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  • Take in your trap at night if you have raccoons or squirrels around your neighborhood.
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