How to Trap a Robin Bird

Updated February 21, 2017

Popular all across North America, the American Robin is one of the most recognizable birds, with its vivid red feathers and cheerful song. Robins are one of the first to lay eggs every year, and the song of hungry young birds can be heard as early as March and April in many areas of the country. The robin's prevalent numbers and curious nature often leads them indoors, requiring the need to catch and release them.

Turn the lights off and close the blinds. Quiet, dark locations will help calm the bird and make him easier to capture. If there are no blinds, wait until it is dark outside to make the robin easier to catch.

Watch the bird for a few minutes to determine her flight path. Robins like to perch on raised surfaces and move frequently to avoid capture in the wild, so observing her will allow you to figure out the best place to catch her at.

Stretch your netting between both hands, making sure to shake out any wrinkles or folds that might allow the bird to escape. Choose netting that is small enough to prevent the robin from escaping, such as quarter bird netting. Substitute an old towel or curtain if you do not have netting on hand.

Walk up behind the bird slowly, moving in as close to him as possible. The bird may fly away on your first approach, so move with him to the next perch if he becomes frightened. Once you get within a couple feet, throw the net over the bird so that it totally covers him.

Put on your gloves and pick up the bird, making sure the net stays wrapped around him. The gloves will prevent the robin from pecking you as you move her outside. Gently untangle her from the netting, making sure she is totally free of it before turning her loose.


Remove domestic pets from the area before trying to trap the robin. Cats and dogs are natural predators and will chase the bird, so lock them in another room to avoid stressing the bird any more than necessary.


Do not keep any robins that you catch. In many states it is illegal to keep trapped birds, so catch and release her as soon as possible to avoid any legal troubles.

Things You'll Need

  • Fine netting
  • Heavy gloves
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