Bird trapping: tips and technique

In the daytime birds are taken principally by means of nets, springs, traps and birdlime. The method adopted in the suburbs of London is most ingenious. The nets used are generally twelve yards and a half long, and two yards and a half wide. The bird catcher provides himself with call birds, usually consisting of five or six linnets, two goldfinches, two greenfinches, a woodlark, a redpole, a yellow hammer, titlark and perhaps a bullfinch. These are placed at short distances from the nets in little cages. He has besides what are called flur-birds, which are placed within the nets and are raised upon a movable perch, which the bird catcher can raise at pleasure by means of a long string fastened to it, and gently let down at the time the wild bird approaches. The flur-birds generally consist of a linnet, a goldfinch, and a greenfinch, secured to the flur by a contrivance called a brace, which secures the birds without doing any injury to their plumage. When the bird catcher has laid his nets, he disposes of his call birds at proper intervals. The instant that the wild birds are perceived, notice is given by one to the rest of the call birds, and they all raise their voices in a loud and cheerful chorus, which arrests the wild birds in their flight and attracts them down to the spot near which the nets are placed; and the bird catcher watching his opportunity, closes his nets upon them.

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