This European Bird Snare trap is a sprung bird foot snare and no longer legal to use in the UK. I imagine it’s home made but I can’t be sure and I also think this one is relatively modern although the principle is certainly quite old.
The mechanics of the trap are beautifully simple and could have been made by any countryman with a penknife. The frame of the traps consists of a piece of sprung steel with a hook on one end and a twig (about the size of you finger) fitted firmly to the other end. A hole is cut through the twig near the top and a small notch cut in the outer side.
The snare is a simple loop of string tied to the hook end and threaded through the hole. At this stage you would have to hold the spring ‘closed’ to keep the loop in place.
The clever bit is the trigger. Another smaller twig is cut into a flat point (a bit like a screwdriver) so that it fits into the notch pinning the snare loop in place. The whole thing is then held in a state of balance – the string is pulling the trigger into the notch which is holding the string.
The loop is then opened and flattened so that it sits as an open loop over the trigger.
Any bird landing on the trigger peg dislodges it, releasing the snare which pulls tight around it’s leg(s) and against the upright twig