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The Spring Net Trap


Although slightly complicated in construction, our next illustration

presents one of the prettiest bird traps on record, and may be

made in the following manner, and by frequently referring to the

picture, our explanation will be easily understood.

The first step is to make or procure a low flat box, about fifteen

inches long, by ten inches in width, with a depth of about two

inches. Next fasten an interi
r box, of the same

height, leaving a space of about three-quarters of an inch between

them all round. A platform should now be made. Let it be of such a

size that it will just fit in the interior box, with a very slight

space all around its edge. It should then be pivoted in the upper

part of this box by two small slender pins, one being driven through

into its edge, at the centre of each end. Let it be sensitively

poised. The next thing to be done, is to arrange the spindle and

catch. The latter should consist of a tack or small bit of wood

fastened on the middle of the platform, about an inch from one

end, as seen both in the main illustration and in the diagram at


The spindle should consist of a flat piece of wood, secured with

a leather hinge to the edge of the outside box, directly opposite

the catch. Let it be long enough to reach and barely hold itself

beneath the catch. When thus in its position, two small plugs should

next be driven into the edge of the inner box, one on each side of

the spindle, thus holding it in place. A glance at our illustration

makes this clear. The netting and hoop are next in order. The hoop

should consist of an iron wire of the diameter of common telegraph


For a box of the size we have given, a length of about twenty-eight

inches will be found to answer. Before making the hoop, however,

its hinges should be ready for it. Two screw eyes, or staples of

bent wire should be driven into the bottom of the box between the

two walls, one in the exact middle of each side. The iron wire

should now be bent so as to fit round and settle into the space

between the boxes, letting each end rest

over the screws in the bottom. It will be found that there will

be enough surplus wire on each end to form into a loop with the

pincers. These loops should be passed through the screws or rings

already inserted, and then pinched together; the hinge will thus

be made, and will appear as at (c). If properly done, they should

allow the hoop to pass freely from one end of the box to the other,

and settle easily between the partitions. If this hinge should

prove too complicated for our young readers, they may resort to

another method, which, although not so durable, will answer very

well. In this case the wire will only need to reach to the exact

middle of the long sides. No surplus being necessary, a length

of twenty-six inches will be exactly right. On each end a short

loop of tough Indian twine should be tied. By now fastening these

loops to the bottom of the box with tacks, in the place of screws,

it will form a hinge which will answer the purpose of the more

complicated one.

The netting should consist of common mosquito gauze, or, if this

cannot be had, any thin cloth may be substituted. It should be

sewed fast to the iron wire, from hinge to hinge, and then, with

the hoops resting in its groove, the netting should be drawn over the

platform, and tacked to the bottom of the groove, on its remaining

half. It should rest loosely over the platform to allow plenty of

space for the bird.

But one more addition, and the trap is finished. We have mentioned

the use of elastics in other varieties: they are of equal use here,

and should be attached to the hoop as seen at (a) in the section

drawing, the remaining ends being fastened to the bottom of the

groove, as there indicated. These elastics should be placed on

both sides, and stretched to such a tension as will draw the hoop

quickly from one side to the other.

It will now be easy to set the trap. Draw the hoop back to the

opposite end, tucking the netting into the groove; lower the spindle

over it, resting it between the two little plugs, and securing

its end beneath the catch on the platform. If the bait,

consisting of bread-crumbs, berries, insects, or the like, be now

sprinkled on the platform, the trap is ready for its feathered

victim. It will easily be seen that the slightest weight on either

side of this poised platform will throw the catch from the end of

the spindle, and release the hoop and the platform in an instant

is covered by the net, capturing whatever unlucky little bird may

have chanced to jump upon it. This is a very pretty little trap,

and will well repay the trouble of making it.