A simple homemade bird trap allows homeowners to trap unwanted birds and release them into a more appropriate habitat. Game hunters may also use them to trap game birds like pheasants or grouses. Some of the easiest versions to build at home are closed end traps and bird snares. These traps require few materials and little construction--perfect for those who do not wish to build anything complicated.
Closed End Traps
One of the simplest methods for trapping a rogue bird is using a closed end trap. These traps work on the principle that birds are unable to walk backward. When walking into a space that is not big enough for them to turn around, birds become trapped in the space. This allows people to trap birds and then release them into the wild. Hunters can also set up closed end traps to catch game birds.
One of the simplest, homemade, closed end traps is the stove pipe. To make this trap, use a 24 inch long stove pipe, duct tape, and some chicken wire. Cover one end of the pipe with chicken wire and secure it with duct tape. Bait the trap to encourage birds to enter the stove pipe. For common wild birds, use bird seed or sunflower seeds. Place a trail of seed going into the pipe and place a large handful of seed inside the pipe. Make a trail of corn and place a corn cob in the pipe when trapping game birds like pheasants.
In order to successfully use a stove pipe trap, know what type of bird you are trying to catch. Pipes are available in different widths and it is necessary to know what kind of bird you are trying to trap before purchasing the pipe. Select a one that is wide enough to allow the bird to enter, but will not give them sufficient room to turn around. For example, when trapping pheasants use a 6 inch wide pipe. Use a 4 inch wide pipe for trapping grouse.
Snare traps can also be made at home with little effort. There are several kinds, including basic snares, lifting snares and baited snares. Basic snares work by placing a noose in a typical bird path. The bird gets caught in the path and then the noose tightens as the bird moves around. Create a basic snare at home with a wooden stake, flexible wire and a fishing swivel. Place the stake in the ground and create a noose using the flexible wire. The noose should sit on the ground so that birds walk into the snare. Use the fishing swivel on the snare line to allow for easy movement. This helps the noose tighten around the bird but not prevent the bird from breaking free.
Lifting snares take basic snares a step further by lifting the trapped bird into the air. Lifting the bird off the ground makes it more difficult for predators to attack the trapped bird and makes it more difficult for birds to free themselves from the snare. Build a lifted snare using a forked stake, flat wooden stake, flexible wire and a counter weight. Balance the wooden stake horizontally using the forked stake as a focal point. At one end of the horizontal beam place a heavy object to use as a counter weight. Then, secure a wire noose at the other end of beam. When a bird gets trapped in the noose, the bird's movement forces the counter weight down and the bird lifts in the air.
The final type of bird snare is the baited bird snare. These snares are especially effective because they use food to attract birds to the traps. Build a simple baited snare using two wooden stakes, fishing line, nails and bait. Put one stake into the ground and attach the other stake to it horizontally so that it forms a perch. Thread fishing line around the perch, tying nooses on one side of the wood. On the other side, secure bait to the perch using nails. As birds rest on the perch and try to get the food, their feet will get trapped in the fishing line nooses.
Any of the previously described traps can be effective in trapping birds when used properly. Be sure to pay attention to the bird's movements before building the trap. Placing the traps in places where the birds are frequently spotted helps ensure success. Check the traps frequently, especially if you wish to relocate the birds. Birds become stressed when trapped for a long period of time and may die if left ensnared too long.
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