A simple, inexpensive trap for capturing Parrots and other Cavity Nesting Birds

Many studies require that birds be individually caught during the nesting cycle for marking and sampling. Numerous forms of trap for capturing nest box or cavity-nesting birds on the nest have been devised. The simplest of these may be just a hand net, sliding door or similar that is set off manually, but these require constant monitoring by the researcher. Somewhat more sophisticated designs often operate automatically, through the use of a spring-operated mechanism (e.g. de Haven and Guarino 1969) and/or with a trigger stick to prop open a trap door (e.g. Stutchbury and Robertson 1986; Robinson et al. 2004). Many of these traps have been designed with small, nest box breeding northern hemisphere songbirds in mind. However, we have found a number of these designs inadequate for trapping parrots, and other large and dexterous species, in the southern hemisphere. Some species are capable of opening spring-loaded doors or avoiding dislodging the sticks or perches required to trigger other traps. Here, we describe a simple, cost effective, automatic trap that we have used successfully for trapping parrots and other large birds in nest boxes. This trap can be easily installed in side- or top-opening nest boxes, and can be adapted to some natural cavities.

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