The Kings Lightning Trap appears to have been invented and sold in New Zealand round about 1919. I came across this article for sale on the internet and although I couldn’t make out much from the image at the time, I bought it anyway. It is a brief reference to the ‘Kings Lightning Trap‘ a huge scale bird trap that seems to have been effectively pegged down to the ground.
The commentary on the photo reads:
SEVEN HUNDRED AND NINETY-SEVEN CAPTIVES MADE IN ELEVEN HOURS: KINGS “LIGHTNING” BIRD-TRAP
The enormous bird-trap here illustrated is made of iron and steel, is 24 feet long, weighs 50lb. and covers an area of 192 feet. Bait is spread on the ground between the open jaws of the trap, and when sufficient birds have been attracted to this the operator pulls a cord, releases the springs, and causes the nets to spread over the birds and bait. So effective has this snare proved to be that as many as seven hundred and ninety-seven birds have been caught in it in New Zealand between seven o’clock in the morning and six o’clock at night.
I have followed up the New Zealand angle and managed to find this advert in an archive of New Zealand newspapers, but other than that, nothing at all.