Finch Trap – English, Traditional†

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Made from a wooden frame with wires inserted into the cross pieces to form the cage bars.

A trap just like this one is pictured in ‘With Nature and a Camera’ by Richard Kearton,published 1897.  I had assumed that many of these were home made but the one in the Kearton photograph appears to be identical so perhaps they were made commercially.

Kearton writes this about the trap he photographed.

Bullfinches were caught by many cottagers in Kent and Sussex during the winter months with the kind of trap shown.  A call bird is placed in the lower compartment of the cage, and the upper one is baited with privet berries, which can easily be reached by the unwary victim through the open doorway shown in the picture.  The trap is hung up in a tree, and a soon as the bird enters to partake of the good things provided by the benevolent peasant, its weight releases a small door above its head, which instantly closes, and eventually the little prisoner finds its way, along with five or six others, to a bird dealer’s shop in the nearest town.”


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