How to Trap a Backyard Bird



Use two sticks, a cord, a rock, and your pocketknife to build to an Ojibwa Bird Pole.,
Sharpen both ends of the longer pole.,
Drill a hole through the pole near one of the ends.,
Tie one end of the rope firmly around your rock.,
Wedge the thin stick into the hole you drilled.,
Thread the string through the hole and tie a small knot in it.,
Tie a slip noose knot in the end of the string.,
Run the end of the rope through the noose knot, back towards the pole.,
Tie a simple overhand knot right where the two sticks meet.,
Test the trap by gently pushing the perch down.,
Place your trap in an open area, where it is the best option for a bird to sit.,
Note that this trap is a supplement for a survival diet, not a main source of food.

This trap has been used in Canada since prehistoric times. It looks a bit like an upside-down “L.” Birds will perch on the smaller stick, which is rigged to a simple noose that tightens when a bird lands on the perch. While it requires some knowledge of knots, the Ojibwa Bird Pole is the simplest, easiest trap you can make in the wilderness. You’ll need:

A large branch, roughly the width of a few fingers and 5-6 feet long.
A pencil-thin stick, roughly six inches long.
A rock, roughly the size of your fist.
A 3-4 foot cord or rope. This can be a shoestring, a sleeping bag cord, a sturdy vine, or twine.
A sharp pocket knife.;
, The bottom end will be driven into the ground, and the top needs to be sharp so that birds perch on your trap, not the pole.

, It doesn’t need to be wide, just wide enough to push your thin stick through.

, The rock acts as your counter-weight, holding the trap in place until a bird springs it. Any knot will do.

, It should be right next to the string, but the string should still move freely. You don’t want to put the stick all the way in, just enough to keep it in place. This “perch” needs to fall under the weight of the bird in order to snare it.

, The weight of the rock will try and pull the string back through your hole. You want to make it so that, combined, the knot and the stick hold the rope in place, with the rock hanging freely about halfway up the pole. This may take some trial and error since your hole and stick size will be different depending on your materials.

The knot should be able to move freely through the hole in the pole when the stick isn’t jammed in.
Some trappers tie the small knot first, then put the stick in. Experiment with what works for you.
You should have two feet of string or more on the other side of your knot.

, Take the end of the string and make a noose big enough to fit your fist through. To make a slip noose:

Double the string back on itself to make a U-shaped loop.
Run the end of the string back towards the top of the loop. It will look a bit like a flattened “S.”
Wrap the end of the rope around the doubled line 2-3 times.
Pull the rope tight, cinching the wrap around the doubled string., You’ll be left with a circle of rope draped over your perch. The end of the noose will be at the end of the perch, and the noose knot itself will be close to the pole. You should have two semi-circles of rope draped off of the stick.

, An overhand knot is simply when you create a loop and pull the string through. All you have to do is wrap the end around the rope near your hole, creating a circle, then run the end through that circle. This should be right at the point where your two sticks meet., As you do, the weight of the rock should pull the rope through the hole, which will quickly tighten the noose and grab your finger. Note, however, that these traps are very variable. Play with the size of the noose and the perch — the closer they are to the same size, the more effective your trap will be. Also, try and tie the smallest knot possible in the beginning so that the rope can move freely through the hole — you want it to snap shut quickly once the stick is removed.

, If you place this trap in the woods, you significantly decrease the chances a bird will land there — there are plenty of good trees around. Place it in an open area where it is the only place for them to land for the best results., Small birds, in general, only provide about 100 calories apiece. Unless you have 4-5 successful traps, there are much better returns on your investment when looking for food, including insects and game traps for rabbits and squirrels. Still, especially in the winter, these traps can be a viable source of nutrition when paired with other methods.

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