Are you looking for bird traps? Then you've come to the right place.
In this Pest Strategies product review you can expect to learn:
- What Exactly Are Bird Traps?
- How To Gain a Bird's Trust So You Can Capture It
- What Bait To Use To Trap Birds
- What to Do With the Birds Once You've Caught Them
Ready to jump into this pest guide? Let's go!
Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
(updated as of 1/2/2019)
Of all the bird traps we researched and reviewed, our top pick goes to Live Snap Trap.
Because birds feel comfortable around it as soon as you put it out. There's no “warm-up” period required for them to get used to it.
And because it works consistently to catch birds with the same technology that has been used to catch mice and rats for so long.
Want to skip all this research and just hire a decent exterminator for your
Top 5 Best Bird Traps
Short on time or just want a quick answer?
Check out our list below for a summary of our results. Keep on reading to learn more about bird traps.
What Are Bird Traps?
Using traps, running a trap line, whatever you want to call it, isn't as easy as 1, 2, 3. You'll have to put some effort into it. It takes some thought and persistence.
Whenever you hear someone complaining that a trap doesn't work, most of the time it is because they didn't use the trap correctly. All the traps we've reviewed here today will work. But . . . you do have to use them the right way.
No Deadly Traps
There is one thing you need to be aware of though; bird traps that outright kill the birds are (excuse the expression) rare as hen's teeth. All the traps listed here are live capture ones. More on what that means later.
The video below is a compilation of how different bird traps work.
What Makes Bird Traps Effective?
The single most common problem with bird traps is the difficulty of getting the birds into the trap in the first place. Although birds will nest in birdhouses with an artificial roof over their heads, that is a very different thing than feeding with a roof of any kind, artificial or otherwise, over their head.
Birds want open sky overhead when they're looking for food. Foraging and feeding, by the very nature of those activities, must take place away from the relative safety of the nest.
Anything that is over them would prevent them from making a quick getaway in case they have to flee from a predator – including other birds.
Naturally, this creates a tendency in them to shy away from traps because they can see the grid of the wires over the feed you've put out.
The enclosure makes them feel vulnerable to attack even though it actually protects them. But they don't know that. They only know that it feels dangerous to go inside it.
How Can You Gain the Bird's Trust To Capture It?
This might sound like a strange heading for this section but it is actually quite accurate. The secret to successfully trapping birds is to first gain their trust. You start by wiring open the doors to the trap.
You want to make sure the doors can't close, even by accident, until the birds have learned they can go in and out of it. with impunity.
Bait the trap (we'll discuss with what in a few minutes) every day. Don't try to be sneaky about it either. Let the birds see you going to the trap and setting out the bait. Let them see you do it every day.
It might take a while, but eventually one of them will muster up the courage to peek inside the trap. Once the first one finally goes inside it and discovers the food, then discovers it's safe, it won't be long before rest of the birds will follow suit.
Remember that old saying, “Birds of a feather, flock together.” Whatever one does, they all do.
It applies just as much when they're foraging as it does when they're doing anything else. With a little bit of patience, you can use their own biology against them.
What Baits Should Be Used With Bird Traps?
Most birds adore seeds of various kinds and let's face it, there are plenty of different bird feeds available on the market today. Get a bag of bird feed and spread a 1/2-cup of it inside the trap.
Spread it around inside the trap so they'll have an excuse for wandering all about the inside of it, pecking and scratching as they go. It also ensures there is enough in there to tempt more than just one bird.
Alternately though, watch what the birds are eating before you put out the trap. If you order the trap online, watch the birds closely while you're waiting for the trap to arrive.
If you've got fruit trees of some kind, and the birds are eating the fruit, you'll know what kind of bait you should use. If it's a variety of nut tree, you'll use that.
Typically, birds will eat fruit or nuts that have fallen to the ground. When it's time to put out your trap, rake or shovel up all the fallen fruit or nuts on the ground.
Put the trap on the ground under the tree where they're used to foraging, with some of the fruit or nuts inside it. Dispose of the rest of the fruit or nuts in a container with a tightly sealed lid so they can't get to it.
Repeat this process every day, cleaning up all the fruits and nuts on the ground so there isn't anything left except what is inside the trap. Eventually one of them will venture inside. After that, it's all downhill.
What Should Be Done With The Birds?
Earlier we mentioned that all the traps listed here are live capture traps and said we'd tell you later what that means.
Well, it's later.
Bird, especially pigeons and doves, have a tremendous homing instinct. Some of them can find their way back to your house (their “home”) from as much as 400-500 miles away, or further.
Even smaller birds can still fly 40 or 50 miles back to where they came from. Obviously, you don't want to drive a long round trip to get rid of birds every time you empty the trap. That means you need to kill them.
The simplest and easiest way to kill the birds is to submerge the entire trap in water and let them all drown. This has the added benefit of cleaning the trap off each time. Be sure to oil the hinges on it though.
If you decide you don't want to kill the birds, you might tie a brightly colored thread around one of their legs in order to “tag” them. If you see a bird in your yard with a thread around its leg you'll know one of your captured and released birds has found its way back to your place again.
Rest assured, that bird won't get caught in the trap again, so now your problem is worse than it was before.
At this point, you need to make a decision before you go any further. Are you going to kill the birds or not? If not, trapping them probably won't do you much good in the long run.
Eventually, they'll just find their way back again. If you've made up your mind to kill them, good deal. Read on.
Want to skip all this research and just hire a decent exterminator for your
bird problem? Top 5 Best Live Bird Traps Reviewed
As a quick recap, here are the top 5 bird traps we looked at.
This is a live trap mainly used for bird hunting, but it can also be used around your home or office to get rid of pesky birds who won't stop hanging around where they're not wanted.
We're listing this trap first because birds can be very shy about entering normal wire traps. This trap provides a sense of openness to them, making them think it's safe to venture down to take the bait.
As soon as they do, the spring releases and the trap snaps shut, pulling the netting over the top of them so they're caught.
This trap is easy to set up and use. You just need some bait dangling from the trigger mechanism for them to pull and tug on.
If a bird larger than 12" ventures into the trap, one of two things will probably happen. Either the bird will be able to squirm out of the trap, or the outer wire ring the net is attached to will hit the bird in the head or neck and kill them.
The only other drawback is that this trap only catches one bird at a time. You'll have to remove the trapped bird, rebait the trap, reset it after each capture.
This is a multi-catch bird trap that can catch and hold 5 to 10 sparrows at a time. They can enter from either end of the cage through the one-way doors, but getting back out again is very difficult for them.
Put it wherever the sparrows are congregating the most. Bait it with some seed, then sit back and prepare to start catching some birds.
This will not hold larger birds. If some of them try to get in to get the bait, they could become stuck. You'll have to get them out.
Some of the smaller birds can escape if they're really determined to get out. Nothing is perfect after all. But within its design and limitations, it works quite well.
The construction is good and the materials are coated to resist the weather. A little oil on the hinges should be the only maintenance you need to do on it.
This pigeon trap is nearly a yard long and big enough to hold 12 birds at a time. There are three one-way entry doors into the trap.
For removing the birds there is a centered access door on the top of the cage. It also includes a compartment for holding food and water as well as a hinged shade panel.
As with all traps, the one unavoidable difficulty is that birds can be shy about entering it no matter what bait you put in it.
This dual compartment trap can hold up to 5 to 6 birds at a time. It works fairly well at catching and holding them. It's over a 1½ feet long so there is plenty of room in there for them.
It only catches small birds though. Larger birds won't be able to get into it so make sure you're getting the correct size cage for the type of bird(s) you're trying to catch.
Rust-proof construction lasts in all weather conditions, and it can be pole mounted or put on the ground. It's easy to set but you'll have to ignore the instructions for the most part because they're so scant as to be useless. You can adjust the tension to accommodate different size birds.
A yard long and ten pounds in weight, this trap, Model 502R, is a big trap for pigeons and similar sized birds. It will hold up to 12 pigeons at a time.
Once they get over their shyness about approaching it, you'll be catching several of them every day. Small birds will be able to get out of it though.
It has a good quality construction that stands up to the weather. A little oil on the hinges should be the most maintenance you'll need to do.
It's easy to set up and use, just be careful when removing birds from it. Others will try to escape while you're taking one out.
Our Top Pick: Live Snap Trap
There are a lot of bird traps on the market.
All of them work to one degree or another but only one can be considered the best.
Overall, our pick goes to the Live Snap Trap.
Birds feel comfortable with it because it is an “open sky trap” and they won't have any hesitation going right up to it. To them, it doesn't feel like they're going into anything.
This trap is very convenient and easy to use.
A close second was the Tomahawk Double Door Rigid Live Sparrow Trap. Traps for smaller birds are just as necessary as those for larger birds, and this one will get the job done.
Other Bird Guides
Curious about other bird related products? Check out our other detailed guides to help you deal with your pest problems.