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The Bat Fowling Net


With English bird-catchers this contrivance is in common use, but

so far as we know it has not been utilized to any great extent in

this country. It is chiefly used at night by the aid of a lantern,

and large numbers of sparrows and other birds are often secured.

Our illustration gives a very clear idea of the net, which may be

constructed as follows: Procure two light flexible poles, about
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eight feet in length; to the tip of each a cord should be attached,

and the same secured to the middle of the pole, having drawn down

the tip to the bend, shown in our engraving. The two bent ends

should now be attached together by a hinge of leather. A piece

of mosquito netting is next in order, and it should be of such

a size as to cover the upper bent halves of the poles, as seen

in the illustration--the bottom edge being turned up into a bag,

about ten inches in depth. The contrivance is now complete, and is

used as follows: Three persons are generally required, and a dark

night is chosen. Hay stacks, evergreens, and thick bushes offer a

favorite shelter to numerous small birds, and it is here that they

are sought by the bird-hunters. A breezy night is preferable, as

the birds perch low, and are not so easily startled by unusual


Great caution, however, is used in the approach. One party holds

the light, which is generally a dark lantern, another takes the

net, and the third arms himself with a switch with which to beat

the bushes. The net is first held upright about a foot from the

bush, and the light thrown upon the back of it. The bush is then

moderately beaten, and the birds affrighted and bewildered fly against

the net, which is instantly closed. The bird is thus captured, and

when a full roost can be discovered a large number may be taken

in a single night. The lantern should be closed while not in actual

use, and everything should be done as quietly as possible. The

dark lantern in itself is useful without the net. The light often

so bewilders the bird that it flies directly in the face of the

lantern and flutters to the ground, where it may be easily taken

with the hand.