Homemade Bird Traps for Sparrows & Starlings

Updated April 17, 2017

Sparrows are known to create problems by infringing on nesting grounds and feeding sites. Starlings, on the other hand, can take over the nests of native birds. If you want to get rid of these birds once and for all, the best way to do that is to set up a bird trap for them.

Cut the plywood to size with the jigsaw and measuring tape. The exact dimensions of the frame should 18 by 10 by 5 inches.

Cut the plastic jug with the table saw to fit into the frame's 5-inch width.

Drill two holes into the centre point of the plastic jug to screw it in place. Repeat this process with the film canister.

Use the plywood to create a counterbalance to the bird trap. Do this by drilling two holes, measuring 1/16 inch in diameter, along the centre line of the plywood. These holes will be used to mount the plastic jug.

Drill one more hole to hold the film canister on the other end of the plywood.

Screw the plastic jug in the two holes at one end of the plywood using the No. 6 screws. Repeat the same step with the film canister to place it at the other end of the plywood.

Drive two small nails into the plywood's side, about 4 inches from its weighted end.

Get the pivot bracket and drill two holes at 1 1/2 inches up from the bottom and at the centre of each of the bracket arms. Drill another 5/16-inch diameter hole at the bottom centre of the bracket. The last hole will be used to attach the balance board or plywood to the trap.

Position the frame to make sure that it will pivot through the motion required to create a counterbalance effect. Use the marker to mark the exact place where the bracket hole will be located inside the frame.

Drill a hole in the marked point to mount the pivot bracket. Place the washers on the nails that will be placed into the holes of the bracket arms. Insert the nails with the washers inside the holes of the pivot bracket.

Insert the bracket into the trap and add another washer as well as a wiring nut from its underside to hold everything in place.

Measure the distance from the top of the frame to the top of the jug's opening using the measuring tape. Use the same dimension for the top of the hole for the 18-by-10-inch wood board. Add another 3/4 inch to get to the 1 1/2-inch centre hole. Measure horizontally from the box's end to the centre of the plastic jug in order to get all the dimensions to locate the hole.

Drill the 1 1/2-inch hole in the front door based on the dimensions you got from the previous step. Install the hinges in the holes by inserting the screws.

Create the chute by cutting a 10-inch piece of the PVC tubing. Drill pilot holes into the tube and screw it into the back of the frame to finish creating the bird trap.


When installing the bird trap, make sure that you attach a chute to the PVC tubing where you want the trapped birds to be placed. You can also attach it to a wired cage to trap the sparrows and starlings.

Things You'll Need

  • Large sheet of plywood
  • Jigsaw
  • Measuring tape
  • Plastic jug
  • Table saw
  • Electric drill
  • Film canister
  • No. 6 screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Nails
  • Pivot bracket
  • Metal hinges
  • PVC tubing
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About the Author

Based in New Jersey, Robert Raphael has been writing health and technology articles since 1993. His work has appeared in “Natural Living” magazine and “Extreme PC” magazine. Raphael received the Jonathan Melman Literary Award in 1994. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Brandeis University.