site logo

The Fool's Cap Trap


Of all oddities of the trap kind, there is, perhaps, no one more

novel and comical than the Fool's Cap crow-trap, which forms

the subject of our present illustration. Crows are by no means

easy of capture in any form of trap, and they are generally as

coy and as shrewd in their approach to a trap as they are bold in

their familiarity and disrespect for the sombre scarecrows in the

com field. But this simple device will
often mislead the smartest

and shrewdest crow, and make a perfect fool of him, for it is

hard to imagine a more ridiculous sight than is furnished by the

strange antics and evolutions of a crow thus embarrassed with his

head imbedded in a cap which he finds impossible to remove, and

which he in vain endeavors to shake off by all sorts of gymnastic

performance. The secret of the little contrivance is easily told.

The cap consists of a little cone of stiff paper, about three or

four inches in diameter at the opening. This is imbedded in the

ground, up to its edge, and a few grains of corn are dropped into

it. The inside edge of the opening is then smeared with bird-lime,

a substance of which we shall speak hereafter.

The crow, on endeavoring to reach the corn, sinks his bill so deep

in the cone as to bring the gummy substance in contact with the

feathers of his head and neck, to which it adheres in spite of

all possible efforts on the part of the bird to throw it off.

The cones may be made of a brownish-colored paper if they are to

be placed in the earth, but of white paper when inserted in the

snow. It is an excellent plan to insert a few of these cones in

the fresh corn hills at planting season, as the crows are always on

the watch at this time, and will be sure to partake of the tempting

morsels, not dreaming of the result. The writer has often heard

of this ingenious device, and has read of its being successfully

employed in many instances, but he has never yet had an opportunity

of testing it himself. He will leave it for his readers to experiment

upon for themselves.