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Sparrow Trap Catches 15 Birds At A Time
"We had a terrible time with sparrows in our buildings until we came up with this trap," says Josephine Richardson, a 71-year-old commercial pilot who also manages the local airport in Decatur, Ind. She came up with her sparrow trap idea primarily for use in airplane hangars.
"It'll fill up with 15 birds at a time. The more birds it traps, the more it seems to attract other birds. It'll also catch mice, even when there are already birds in there," says Richardson, who says that after a couple years she's virtually eliminated the bird population in and around the airport and her home.
The sparrow trap consists of a light wood frame cage 19 in. long, 1 ft. wide and 1 ft. high. It's covered with galvanized wire. At one end of the cage, a 5 in. dia. hole leads into a cone-shaped entryway made out of lightweight metal screen. The hole at the end of the cone is just big enough for a bird, or mouse, to jump through into the main part of the trap. Richardson entices birds into the trap by spreading grain around the outside of the trap and in the cone as well as in the bottom of the cage.
"Once they go in through the cone, they can't find their way out through the small hole. And, for some reason, when you have birds trapped inside, it seems to attract other birds," she explains.
Once full, birds can be removed through a lift-up door at the rear of the cage. Richardson says you can either gas the birds with a car or truck exhaust or, as she does, let a cat inside to finish them off.
"To be successful trapping birds you have to learn how to think like a bird. You have to keep moving the trap around to spots where birds are likely to land. It won't catch any until you find the right spot but, when you do, you should leave it there because it'll continue to work. You can try different spots on the floor, on rafters, on top of a 55 gal. drum or any other place birds are likely to land," says Richardson.
For example, Richardson says birds continually landed on the window air conditioning unit outside her office, dirtying it with droppings. She placed a trap on top of the unit and caught enough birds to put an end to the problem. She notes that she also catches starlings and an occasional blackbird in the trap. The trap can be built to any length and size to catch other birds, too.
"One season we trapped more than 150 sparrows in an open shed when we got tired of always finding droppings all over the tractor seat, steering wheel and controls. It completely eliminated the problem," she notes.
Richardson sells the traps for $30 or she'll provide help over the phone to FARM SHOW readers who want to build their own bird traps.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, J. Richardson, Decatur Hi-Way Airport, Rt. 5, Decatur, Ind. 46733 (ph 219 724-7676).

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1987 - Volume #11, Issue #1