How To Catch a Wild Bird in Your Backyard | 10 Methods of Trapping Birds, and Instructions for Building a Trap

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How To Catch a Wild Bird in Your Backyard


Is it Legal to Trap Wild Birds?

10 Methods of Trapping Birds, and  Instructions for Building a Trap [ with Sketch Drawings ]

When you were a young kid, curious and adventurous, you probably entertained the imagination, how can I catch a wild bird in my backyard? You probably thought of having a wild bird as a pet, kept in a cage of some sort, but as you grew older, bird catching was done for other purposes, which includes among them preventing them from being a nuisance on your property. Birds can eat your fruits, corn, legumes and other crops in the garden or farm field. They will eat seedlings, tomatoes and berries. Carnivorous birds like eagles, hawks, ospreys, ravens, puffins, owls, herons and egrets can raid your outdoor koi pond. Birds are also known to build nests in roof gutters, eaves, trees, tower lights and other elevated structures, which can make the place look unsightly and abandoned. Woodpeckers can cause damage to your timber walls and trees.

Is it Legal to Trap Wild Birds?

Before you set a trap to catch wild birds in your backyard, you must find out if it’s legal to trap birds in your area. Be familiar with the rules and regulations regarding the protection of wild life species in your country or state. In the United States, it is prohibited to trap, cage or keep wild birds on your private property. The only bird species which are not protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) are the English sparrow, pigeon and starling, but that doesn’t give you permission to catch or keep them. In order to catch or keep birds under both the protected and unprotected list, you have to get a permit issued by your state under federal laws. In other countries, it might be a different issue altogether, with various laws being non-applicable. In Asia, South America, Africa and other parts of the developing world, people living the agrarian lifestyle in villages and rural areas might catch edible wild birds like the quail, guinea fowl, pheasant, partridge, grouse and squab (pigeon) for food and selling.

There are many simple and creative ways to trap a wild bird on your homestead or nearby bushes and forests. It literally costs nothing to make these traps and they can be made by anyone with time to build something with their hands. You don’t even need to go searching on Amazon to buy a bird trap because most of these traps can be made with basic items that you already have in your home. There are two kinds of traps, the lethal and harmless trap. A lethal trap is one which can seriously injure or kill your prey. Unless you are living in the countryside where it’s legal to hunt, and catching birds for consumption, you shouldn’t use a lethal trap.

Traps are also classified according to the method of capture. In this case, you will have loop snare traps, net traps, ground pitfall traps and box traps. The last three traps are usually a combined system making use of a snare or trigger system to catch the bird or trap it inside a net, box, pit or some other enclosure.

10 Methods of Trapping Birds and  Instructions for Building a Trap [Sketch Drawings]

The following are 10 effective methods of trapping wild birds in your backyard. These are good and exciting projects for those who like building stuff with their hands.

1 – Spring Loaded Bar Trap with Net

The mechanism of this trap works like the classic spring mouse trap. The exception is that the board will be much larger and a net will be draped over the wire-frame lid. Just like the mouse spring trap, the spring is triggered into action when the animal bites the bait, releasing the hold-down bar that is loosely attached to the bait or anchor. To make this trap effective, make sure you use some tough bait that will cause the bird to struggle when pecking and tugging at the piece of food. Food scraps like dry chunks of bread, biltong, cooked meat and potato crisps are good for this purpose. Birds will learn to avoid the spring trap with time, so you must scatter some grains or bread crumbs on the board to encourage birds to approach the bait.

Sketch Drawing 1 - Spring Loaded Bar Net Trap For Birds

Sketch Drawing 1 – Spring Loaded Bar Net Trap For Birds

To create the spring-loaded net trap for wild birds, use a wooden board 20 x 40cm long (and 18 to 22mm thick). Using thick wire, create a rectangular frame which is about two-thirds the length of the board. Fix a net over the frame using flexible thin wire ties. On the board, using a pencil, draw a horizontal line which is perpendicular to the length of the board at the two-third mark. This line mark is the position where you will fix the springs and the wire frame. Fix two snap springs on the board, on each side of the rectangular frame. The snap springs must be attached like a bracing support to the vertical sides of the bar, in the closed (snapped) position.

Sketch Drawing 2 - Spring Loaded Bar Net Trap For Birds

Sketch Drawing 2 – Spring Loaded Bar Net Trap For Birds

Now that you have the springs and closing frame fixed on the wooden platform, you should proceed to fix the bait anchor in place. The anchor can be a straight nail or L-shaped/bent nail fixed mid-way between the width of the board in front of the line marking.

After fixing the bait anchor in place, your next step is fixing the bar or rod. Use a thick stiff wire for your bar. The length of the bar should be the same length or slightly longer than the vertical side of the bar. Complete the mechanism by tying a tough string to one end of the bar, and fixing the string to the edge of the board. When the closing frame is pulled back and open in its trap position at an angle of 135 to 140 degrees, the string must be taut, and it must hold the frame in position without breaking.

Sketch Drawing 3 - Spring Loaded Bar Net Trap For Birds

Sketch Drawing 3 – Spring Loaded Bar Net Trap For Birds

Set the trap by pulling back the closing frame, and holding it down with the bar, which has its tip loosely fixed to the bait or anchor. When a bird perks or tugs at the bait, it will trigger the spring mechanism, releasing the bar and shutting down the bird with the net. The net doesn’t harm the bird, so this is a safe method of trapping birds. Also, the large size of the closing frame ensures that no bird is trapped under the wire frame. Watch the video of trap in action.


2 – Loop Snare Trap Using Water Bottle and Two Poles

This is a variation of the Ojibwa bird pole trap making use of a weight (water bottle) suspended by a string, two wooden poles and beam , L-shaped trigger made of loosely fitted twigs and string loop snare trap placed over the trigger. This sophisticated method also requires you to dig a hole under the beam for the water bottle to drop in.

Sketch Drawing 1 – Loop Snare Trap for Birds Using Water Bottle and Two Poles

To set up this trap, first dig a hole on flat ground, about 1.8 to 2 times the height of the water bottle. A 750ml water bottle is about 23cm high, so the hole should be 40 to 46cm deep. The diameter of the hole is approximately 2.5 times the diameter of the water bottle.

Next, get two Y-shaped twigs, at least 23cm high. These will be used as poles. The Y shape at the top of each twig will function as a bearer (support) for the beam. The bottom of the twigs must be sharpened with a knife, so that they can be easily hammered into the ground. Hammer the poles into the ground on both sides of the hole, then place a beam over the pole bearers. That’s it; your next step is installing the ground anchors and trigger.

Tie the water bottle to your string, then hang the bottle over the beam. Pull the string until the bottom of the bottle is suspended at the same level with the ground. Now, you need to mark the position of the ground anchor on your string. While you are holding the string tightly with your fingers, slide back until your mark meets the ground at a horizontal plane of approximately 17.5cm from the edge of the hole. The base diameter of a 750ml water bottle is about 7 cm, therefore (7cm x 2.5 = 17.5cm).

This will be the position of your ground anchor. Release the bottle, and hammer the anchor (sharpened twig) into the ground. This anchor will be about 10cm high and it must have a stopper (projection) at the top i.e. an L-shaped anchor.

After hammering in the first anchor, mark the position for the second anchor. The second anchor will be situated at approximately 17 to 18cm from the first anchor, and much shorter than the second anchor. Using a hammer, hit the anchor into the ground. Now that you have the ground anchors in place, you have to set up the trigger.

Sketch Drawing 2 – Loop Snare Trap Using Water Bottle and Two Poles

The trigger is a simple mechanism made up of two twigs which are loosely fitted between the ground anchors. This is the horizontal twig, fitted between the ground anchors, and the vertical twig, fitted along the L-shaped anchor between the ground and the stopper. The horizontal twig must press the vertical twig against the anchor at the bottom.

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The vertical twig will be tied to the string that is connected to the weight (water bottle). Once again, you have to measure and mark the position by hanging the bottle over the beam, sliding back your fingers through the taut string, until your mark meets the top of the ground anchor at a horizontal plane of approximately 17.5cm from the edge of the hole.

When you are done, create a loop snare trap with the other end of the string. Place the loop snare over the trigger. When a bird comes and disturbs the trigger with its feet, the water bottle (weight) will fall into the hole, pulling the loop snare, and catching the bird by its feet. Watch the video of trap in action. There is a more or less similar trap using PVC pipes and water bottle.


3 – Simple Cardboard Box Pitfall Trap for Birds

Do you want to make a pitfall trap for birds using only a cardboard box and elastic band? Well, this is one of the simplest traps you can make to catch birds in your backyard, and you don’t need to dig any pit.

Sketch Drawing 1 – Cardboard Box Pitfall Trap for Birds with Elastic Band Door Closer

Get a cardboard box of approximate size 50cm x 27cm x 35cmm high. Basically, you need to make a door (flap) and opening on top of this box, and this door should be on the extreme end of the top. The box should rest lengthwise on its width on the ground. Using a pencil, mark the position of the flap on the top. Draw a line on top of the box, about one-third to mid-way between its length to divide the top into two parts. Using a knife, cut along the middle line (division line) as well as on both sides of the door marking to make an opening and actual swing door. The other half of the top should be left intact.

Punch a hole closer to the edge of the door at its extreme right or left side, and punch another hole on the intact top, about 16 to 18cm from the edge of the door. Take an elastic band which is about the same length (16 to 18cm) and tie oblong wooden toggle buttons at both ends of the band. Put this band through the holes to hold back the door, it will function as a door closer, shutting the door when the trigger is activated.

Now, you have to make the trigger (pitfall cover), it’s not as sophisticated as you would imagine. The trigger is just a rectangular cardboard, about the same width as the door or slightly longer, and narrower than the door height. In this case, the door will be 25cm wide x 27cm high, and the trigger (pitfall cover) will be 25cm x 19cm.

Set up the trap by pulling back the door open at about 80 to 90 degrees. Place the pitfall cover loosely between the door jamb and the opposite edge of the door, slightly above the hinge or pivot line. That’s all, the pitfall cover functions as bracing to keep the door open, but when a weight falls onto it or when a bird walks over it, it will fall into the box (the pit), and simultaneously the elastic band will close the door. Scatter some bait (grains, seeds, bread crumbs, etc.) on the pitfall cover, as well as on the rest of the top surface. Watch the video of trap in action. There are many other ways to catch a bird with a box, but this setup is one of the most effective.


4 – Loop Snare Trap Using Small Energy Drink Can, Nails and Elastic Bands

This is another creative and sophisticated loop snare trap that makes use of a small energy drink can, 4 nails and elastic bands.

A 300ml can of McKane energy drink is 13cm high and 5.4cm in diameter. You may as well use a 250ml can of Red Bull or 300ml can of Coca Cola energy drink. Get 4 nails, about 24cm to 27cm long.

Loop Snare Trap for Birds Using Small Energy Drink Can Nails and Elastic Bands

Sketch Drawing 1 – Loop Snare Trap for Birds Using Small Energy Drink Can Nails and Elastic Bands

Prepare some flat ground, and hammer two nails (posts) into the ground at a spacing of 16 to 19cm apart, and standing at a height of 16 or 17cm above ground level. Place and hit another nail (the anchor) into the ground at a distance of about 20cm in front of the first pair of nails. However, this anchor nail will be hammered much deeper into the ground than the posts, so it will stand 4 or 5cm above ground level.

Now, take the can and punch holes on both sides of the can using a nail. Push the nail through the can along the horizontal middle plane of the can. Shift the can to the centre of the nail (axle), and then fix the ends of the nail on top of the posts with an elastic band. Make sure the can revolve around the axle. Test this by spinning the can with your finger. The can must have a ground clearance of 3 to 4 cm.

Now that you have the can revolving around the axle, take an elastic band and fit it around the posts and can on top of the axle. Wrap another elastic band around the posts and can just below the axle. You have just created an auto-spinning mechanism that is driven by an elastic band. To set the spinning motion, turn the can around 7 times and then release your grip. The can will spin vigorously on its own.

The next thing you have to do is setting up the trigger. Take a twig, about 17cm long and fit it between the anchor nail and the can. Remember, you must set the can spinning mechanism before placing the trigger.

Lastly, take a tough string and its end to the mouth of the can. Energy drink cans have a looped opener attached to the mouth. Tie the string on this attachment. Create a loop snare trap on the other end of the string, and place it over the trigger. Place some bait (grains, seeds, bread crumbs, etc.) over the loop snare.

There are several creative variations of this trap using different items such as spoons, wooden sticks and even pens instead of a metal can. Watch the video of trap in action.


5 – Big Plastic Water Bottle Trap with Elastic Band Loaded Flap

This trap is a little bit sophisticated but like many other traps in this article, it makes use of basic materials that can be found in your home. All you need to make this trap is a big 5 litre rectangular-shaped plastic water bottle that can be bought from your local shop or supermarket, two stiff wires like that of a coat hanger, rubber bands, a tough string and two poles made from twigs or sticks.

To create this trap, take a 5 litre water bottle and make an upward opening flap on its bottom using a knife. Place the water bottle on flat prepared ground, and hammer into ground two sharpened poles (twigs or sticks) on both sides of the bottle. The poles should be about 22 to 24cm above ground level. Take a flexible thin wire or old electric cord and tie the top of the poles together to keep the bottle firmly in place.

Make holes on the bottom open edge of the flap on both sides, as well as on both sides of the water bottle. Connect the flap to the bottle using an elastic band with wooden toggle buttons. Instead of wooden toggle buttons, you can use pieces of flexible wire.

Your next step is creating the trigger mechanism. Cut a stiff wire (e.g. coat hanger wire) slightly longer than the diameter/width of the plastic water bottle. Using this wire, make holes on both sides of the bottle, about 3 to 3.5cm from the bottom, and at two-thirds the length of the bottle, away from the flap. Push the wire through to the other side of the bottle so that it is supported on both ends.

Now, cut a short stiff wire about 3cm long (the anchor) and tie it to the end of a string. Tie the other end of the string to the top edge of the flap in the middle. Your string should be tough (unbreakable) and long enough to hold back the flap in an open position of 180 degrees from the vertical line.

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Make a small square hole (about 2.5 x 2.5 or 3 x 3cm) on top of the water bottle on the centre of its width, and vertically  adjacent to the horizontal wire bar at the bottom of the bottle. Pull the flap string through the hole until the flap is fully open at 180 degrees position.

Cut another stiff wire (the trigger) which is about two-thirds the length of the water bottle. It should match the measurement from the horizontal wire bar to the flap.

Now, you have to set up the trigger. Pull the flap string by the anchor and hook the anchor on the horizontal wire bar just in the middle. While holding the anchor in position with your hand, use your other hand to place the trigger wire between the lower tip of the anchor and the protrusion on the flap entrance. This loosely fitted trigger is held between the two points by the pressure of the lower part of the anchor. When the trigger is disturbed by a movement or weight, it will release the anchor, causing the elastic bands to close the flap. That’s how this trap works. After setting up the trigger, you must put some bird bait inside the bottle as well as on the door step. Grains, seeds, nuts, popcorn, bread crumbs or a guava cut into two parts will do. Watch the video of trap in action.


6 – Seesaw Scale Pitfall Trap for Birds

This trap looks complicated but its mechanics can be easily understood if you learn how each part works. The system has two main parts, the pitfall trap and the seesaw scale which  controls the pit flap cover. The permanent weight on the other end of the scale must be slightly heavy enough to pull the flap (i.e. keep the pitfall flap cover closed) and at the same time it must be lighter than the bird landing on the flap. There is a balancing act involved and you have to get it right. Apparently, this system will be quite effective for catching medium-sized and large wild birds such as the guinea fowl, pheasant, partridge, grouse and pigeon.

A guinea fowl has a weight of 1.3 to 1.8kg. A pheasant will weigh as from 550g to 1.2kg. A ruffed grouse has a mass of 530g, and a hazel grouse weighs 430g but grouse species can weigh as much as 6.5kg, with most of them in the 1.1 to 3kg mass. Pigeons are in the range 900 to 2100g.

An adult partridge weighs between 490 and 590g. A quail is lighter, weighing only 90 to 170g.

In order to use the seesaw scale pitfall trap efficiently, you have to know the mass of birds that you want to catch. Make sure that the weight on the other end of the scale is lighter than the bird you want to catch. This trap may not work effectively for small lightweight birds such as the sparrow, robin, fairy-wren and fantail.

Building the seesaw scale pitfall trap is straightforward. First, you need to dig a rectangular pit for the bird to fall in. Before you dig the pit, cut out a cardboard, of size 35 x 27cm wide. This cardboard will be your pitfall flap cover. On prepared flat ground, use the cardboard to mark the position of the pit. Draw lines on the ground around the edges of the cover with a stick or steel trowel. Dig a pit about 30 to 35cm deep within the rectangular line perimeter. Remove the soil and dispose it elsewhere on the site.

Take a stiff wire, which is slightly longer than the width of the pit (i.e. longer than 27cm). Add an allowance of about 5 or 6cm on both ends of the wire, so the total length of your wire will be 27+2(6)=39cm. This stiff wire will function as the cardboard flap pivot support. Push the wire through the cardboard flap, along the width on one end of the cardboard. Alternatively, you can glue the pivot wire (also known as the pivot bar) beneath the cardboard.

Place and fit the cardboard flap over the hole. Anchor the pivot bar into the ground on both sides of the hole, using a hammer to drive in the U-shaped steel anchors into the ground. You will need 9cm long anchors. You can make U-shaped anchors using thick semi-stiff bendable wire.

Now that you are done with the pitfall and cover, you have to make the seesaw scale. A seesaw scale consists of a pivot on which a lever rotates. Your pivot and lever will be made out of 50mm diameter PVC pipes, any plastic pipe will do as it is rigid and firm. The good thing about plastic pipes is that they can be easily cut. Two pipes arranged in T-format will be needed for your seesaw scale. The pivot pipe will stand vertical at the edge of the pit and in the centre of the width, at about 50cm from ground level, and approximately 10 to 15 cm from the edge of the pit. The lever pipe will rest across the pivot, fixed on the fulcrum (turning point) at 55 to 60% of its total distance from the load (an Apple, bottle, etc.). Make your lever 40 to 50cm long.

Next, you have to fix the lever on the fulcrum. Using a knife, cut a U-shaped holder on top of the vertical pivot pipe, about 6 to 7cm deep.  Take your lever pipe and scratch mark the position of the fulcrum, this will be 55 to 60% of the total distance from the end. Take a stiff sharp wire or nail, and drill a hole through both sides of the pipe at this point. Place your lever pipe inside the U-shaped holder at a horizontal position. Make the pipe is slightly submerged below the holder top. Take a pencil or nail and mark the position of the lever on both sides of the U-shaped holder.  Using a nail, stiff sharp wire or screw driver, drill holes on both sides of the holder. Now, fix the lever to the fulcrum by pushing a short thick wire or nail through the holes. Your seesaw scale is finished, hooray!!

Your next step is connecting the seesaw to the pitfall flap cover. Get a tough but flexible string that won’t break apart, about the same length as the height of the pivot pipe (50cm). Drill a hole on one end of the lever pipe facing the pitfall. Tie one end of the string to the hole on the lever pipe. Fit the pitfall flap cover on, and while the lever pipe is aligned horizontally, pull the string in vertical alignment so that the tip is touching the flap cover. Mark this point on the cover using a pencil. Punch a hole on this point, then pull your string through to other side of the cover. Under the cover, tie the string to a wooden toggle button, so that the cover is held back in position.

After doing this, you have to put a door stopper to prevent the pitfall flap cover from opening up when it’s pulled by the seesaw weight. This will also prevent the trapped bird from opening the flap cover when it tries to jump or fly out of the pit. On the mouth of the pit, adjacent to the flap hinge, hit a sharp wooden stick into the vertical edge of the pit and leave a protrusion of about 2.5cm. You must turn the flap downwards into the pit before inserting the door stopper.

Your sophisticated bird trap is almost complete, what you only need to do is tie a weight on the other end of the seesaw lever. This weight will balance the scale. Now, decide which bird species you want to trap. If you want to catch a quail and much bigger birds, make sure your weight is less than its mass (i.e. less than 90g.)

A very small apple weighs 101 grams, so this weight can only be used to catch quails which are much heavier than 101 grams. You could only catch quails which are 120 to 170 grams in mass, and other bigger birds like pigeons, partridges and grouse.

Now that the trap is set complete with the scale weight, put some bird bait on the pitfall flap cover (i.e. popcorn, nuts, grains, breadcrumbs etc.). When a bird lands on the flap cover, it will instantly fall into the pit, and the cover will be pulled back by the scale weight, returning to its closed position. Watch the video of trap in action.


7 – Bamboo Elastic Force Loop Snare Trap

A dry bamboo stick is both stiff and bendable. You can bend it with your hands, but once you release your grip, it will return to its original shape. These are the qualities of bamboo that make it useful for making a trigger-action reactive loop snare trap for birds.

The bamboo elastic force loop snare trap is one of the most powerful traps, and quite simple to make and set up. You only need a few items for this trap, a 65cm bamboo stick, 30cm stick (the trigger), ground anchors and a string for the loop snare.

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To build this trap, clear the ground on a flat area, then push the bamboo stick into the ground, about 12 to 15cm deep so that it’s standing firm above ground level. Now, bend the bamboo to a half arc or semi-circle, with its tip nearly touching the ground. Mark this position on the ground with a stick or stone. In a horizontal plane from this point, and away from the bamboo, measure the length of the trigger (30cm), and mark the end point with a stick or stone. On this point, hammer in a wooden stick anchor into the ground, so that it’s protruding 4 to 5cm above the ground. On the other end of the trigger stick, hammer into the ground a U-shaped anchor, so that it’s protruding 4 to 5cm above the ground. That’s all.

Now, you have to set up the trigger. Push the trigger stick under the U-shaped anchor until it’s stopped by the ground anchor on the other end. Bend the vertical bamboo to a semi-circle until it’s almost touching the ground, then place its tip to the tip of the trigger stick. The bamboo’s tendency to revert back to its original shape will push the trigger back, resulting in a locked position. Leave the setup as it is. You can lock and unlock the position as you please, but now your last step in setting up this trap is tying a string to the tip of the bamboo. With the other end of the string, make a loop snare trap and place it over the trigger. Make sure your string is long enough to create the loop snare. Place some bird bait inside and around the loop snare (popcorn, breadcrumbs, nuts, seeds, grains etc.)

When a bird comes for the bait, it will disturb the trigger, getting caught by its feet as the bamboo snaps into action. Watch the video of trap in action. Here is another variation of this trap, quite interesting!


8 – Falling Crate Trap for Birds – Automatic Snare

The falling crate is a simple trap for catching wild birds in your backyard, but depending on the snare you want to use, the trigger system can be sophisticated.  There are different types of snares that you can use, ranging from simple to tricky. For this cage, we are going to use a sophisticated snare.

First, clear the ground of rubbish, vegetation, grass, stones and other material which might make the ground uneven. Get a plastic soft drink crate for 24x300ml bottles or rectangular dirty laundry basket with small openings on its sides. Place the crate on level ground, and at one end, hammer into the ground wooden sticks or twigs with hooked tops, about 4 to 6cm above ground level, on both sides of the crate. Tie the hooked anchors to the crate using a string. The purpose of these ground anchors is to keep the crate in place. About 15 to 20cm from the edge of the box, hammer into the ground another hooked anchor, but it must be a little bit higher, about 10 to 15cm above ground level. Tie a long trigger string to this anchor.

Next, you have to build the snare or trigger system. Take two sharp sticks, about 10 to 15cm long, and hammer them into the ground, just in from of the crate on the opposite end. The sticks should be 5 to 7cm apart, in the same horizontal line, and make sure that this set of sticks is placed mid-way between the width of the crate. Hammer the sticks into the ground, until they are protruding 4 to 5cm above ground level.

Now, pull the trigger string through the centre of the crate near its base, to the other end. Make sure the string is taut and touching the horizontal line between the set of two sticks that were hammered into the ground. Mark this position on your string by tightly holding the point with your fingers. This point on the string is where you will tie a prop stick (about 18 to 20cm), that forms part of the trigger system. Tie the trigger string to the bottom end of the prop stick.

To complete the trigger system, place a stick (beam) across the set of two sticks hammered into the ground. Lift up the mouth of the crate at an appropriate angle from the ground, and at the same time pull the trigger string and set the prop between the beam and the bottom edge of the crate. You have just set up the snare, hooray!! This loosely fitted trap is very sensitive to any disturbance. Put some bait under the crate (nuts, grains, popcorn, seeds, breadcrumbs etc.) When a bird comes for the bait, it will bump the trigger string, collapsing the snare and causing the crate to fall over the bird, trapping it inside the cage. Watch the video of trap in action.


9 – Pitfall Cage Trap with Swivel Flap/Door

Among all kinds of traps mentioned in this article, the pitfall cage swivel door trap is the best bird trap for many reasons. This trap consists of a tall cage with two floors, the lower and upper floor. The upper floor or roof as you may want to call it, is a swivel door also known as a pivot door. The L-shaped pivot door rotates about on a horizontal spindle which is fixed on one side of the cage. A straight stiff wire rod with a small weight at its end is fixed or welded to the spindle (fulcrum). This balancing weight ensures that the door stays level in the horizontal plane (in the closed position), but the weight is also light enough (and lighter than the bird) to ensure that the door is tipped over (opened) for the bird to fall inside the bottom cage. As soon as the bird falls to the bottom, the pivot door will return to its original closed position, shutting the bird inside the cage. But here is the clever and innovative thing about this cage, you don’t need to set the trap over and over again. The cage can trap many birds 24/7 days a week without you doing anything. It’s an auto-mechanical bird catching trap that works on autopilot, and you don’t need expensive or special material to build it.

All you need to do after building this pivot door cage trap is putting some bait on the door / flap to attract birds (nuts, crushed biscuits, grains, popcorn, seeds, breadcrumbs, cooked macaroni or spaghetti etc.). To prevent the bait from falling off when the door tips over, you can lightly spread some glue on the surface or use masking tape laid upside down. This trap will catch small birds in your backyard such as the robin, sparrow, fairy-wren and fantail. Watch the video of trap in action.


10 – Falling Crate Trap for Birds – Manually Controlled String

This is perhaps the simplest, but one of the most effective methods. You will need a large rectangular box container, preferably something like a dirty laundry basket with small openings or perforated sides. A steel or wooden framed box with mesh wire will also work, as well as a cardbox.

To set up the trap, use a stick (about 30cm long) to prop up one side of the box at an angle of about 45 to 60 degrees from ground level. Prior to doing this, the stick must be tied to a long hand-controlled string which will function as your fishing rod. Make sure the string is strong, unbreakable and long enough to extend to your hiding place. Instead of strings, you can also use an old electrical cord or even a rope made from rags of clothes and fabric. There is nothing fancy. After propping up the crate, basket or box, put some bait (pieces of food) under the basket, and roll out the string to your hiding place.

Hide behind a window, wall, tree, bush, rock or any obstruction that you keeps you out of view from the wild birds. The disadvantage of this method as you may already guessed is that you have to keep watching the trap from afar to see if birds are coming towards the bait. You will need a little of patience. Once you see a bird hopping or walking under the basket, pull the string immediately to remove the prop and shut the bird under the basket. That’s all. The fishing method box trap is harmless to prey.

Important notes: Make sure the ground on which the basket rests is flat, so that there are no gaps underneath for the bird to escape. Your string must be linearly aligned, not convoluted on the ground, otherwise this will slow down the trap and disturb the birds, giving them enough time and warning to fly away before the basket falls. Watch the video of trap in action.

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