Please allow 2 months lead time to process your revision request.
For each trapping technique you wish to add, please provide us with the following information:
- Permit number
- Bander or sub-bander name
- Trapping technique requested
- Target species or species group to be banded
- Project proposal or statement that existing proposal is already on file
- Training and experience
- Training with this technique (include both group training and one-on-one apprenticeships)
- Species or species group trapped with the technique (ex: passerines - approximately 250, shorebirds - approximately 50, American Kestrel - 10, etc)
- Approximate number of birds captured using the technique
Following is a list of trapping techniques:
- Audio Lures - Use of playback audio device to attract birds into the vicinity of nets or other traps; should be used for target capture of a single species or a small group of species.
- Baited traps - Includes a wide variety of trap designs where food is placed inside the trap and birds are captured after entering the trap to get to the food. Common types of bait include seeds and grains for seed eaters and waterfowl, and sugar water for hummingbirds. Lure animals are not used in these traps.
- Bal-chatris - Any enclosed wire trap covered with multiple monofilament nooses that ensnare the feet of raptorial birds. A lure animal, usually a live rodent, is placed inside to attract the raptor.
- Bow nets - A spring-loaded system with a net between two curved (bowed) rods. When used to capture raptors, a lure animal is placed at the center to attract the raptor to the trap. This technique is also used to capture individual birds at their nests.
- Cannon nets - Large nets launched by metal projectiles set off by gunpowder or similar explosive. Used to capture large numbers of birds during a single event, frequently over bait. Given the significant hazards associated with the use of explosives and projectiles, formal training in the use of these nets combined with supervised field experience are necessary before authorization will be considered by the BBL.
- Corral/Drive traps - Large temporary fenced enclosures with an entrance that can be closed after birds are guided into the trap. A team of people normally drive the birds into the trap. This technique is used to capture flightless birds, mostly geese or other waterfowl during their annual molt, or pre-flight colonial birds such as terns.
- Dho-gazas - An array of larger gauge mist nets set up to separate from their supporting poles when struck by a raptor. A lure animal or decoy is normally placed inside of the nets to attract the raptors to the trap.
- Drop nets - Weighted nets set on poles above the ground with a triggering device to release the net and allow it to drop on the birds. Normally used at locations where birds gather to feed or roost and may be used over bait. Also used to capture nesting birds in open areas.
- Drugs/tranquilizers - Some chemical agents may be used to temporarily tranquilize birds allowing their capture with nets or bare hands. The bander must specify the chemical that will be used. Alpha-chloralose is the chemical most frequently used for this technique but requires extensive experience in its use and knowledge of appropriate dosage levels before authorization will be considered by the BBL. If other drugs are under consideration, the bander must first obtain an Investigational New Animal Drug letter of permission from the Food and Drug Administration for use to capture birds before the request will be considered.
- Funnel traps - Large semi-permanent structures designed to funnel flying or foraging birds into increasingly smaller areas where they can be captured by mist nets, hand nets, or other means. These traps frequently use drift fences or similar designs to guide birds towards the center of the trap, but designs frequently vary in response to local terrain and conditions. A Heligoland trap is the most common example of a funnel trap where birds fly into the "funnel".
- Hand capture - Use of hands to capture birds without nets, traps, or other devices. Mostly used for handling nestlings, the small young of precocial birds, and young/adult birds in nest boxes. Also used for capturing of adults under some circumstances, such as removing seabirds from their burrows.
- Hand nets - Any net with a handle used to capture individual birds.
- Mist nets - Light-weight mesh nets of varying heights and lengths strung up between two poles used in the passive or targeted capture of birds. A variety of designs includes use of multiple nets on extended poles and/or attached to wires to capture birds in the canopies of trees.
- Net guns - A hand-held modified rifle that uses a blank rifle cartridge to project a small net approximately 5-15 m. Weights are attached to the corners of the net (usually 3.5 m X 3.5 m) and carry it over an individual bird or small group of birds. A Coda Net Gun is one example of this category. Training in the proper use of these guns and supervised field experience are necessary before authorization will be considered by the BBL.
- Net launchers - The same principle as a Net Gun, but is shot from a stationary device located on the ground. The explosive charge and nets tend to be larger than those used in Net Guns. These devices are frequently used in association with bait or a lure animal. Training in the proper use of these launchers and supervised field experience are necessary before authorization will be considered by the BBL.
- Noose Carpets and Snares - An array of monofilament nooses attached to a mat of wire mesh or some other structure designed to entangle the legs or feet of birds. These traps are frequently placed near nests, burrow entrances, or other locations where the target birds are likely to stand.
- Noose poles (Catch poles) - Any type of pole with an adjustable monofilament noose extending from the end. The loop is placed around the bird and tightened to capture it. This technique is frequently used to remove young birds from cavities or nests in tall trees and to capture roosting birds such as owls.
- Padded foot/leg-hold traps - Modified spring traps placed on the ground where the springs are adjusted to reduce the force of closure and the jaws of the trap are thickly padded to prevent injury to a bird’s leg when the trap closes. Normally used to capture eagles or other large raptors, these traps are frequently set around bait.
- Pneumatic nets - These devices involve the projection of weighted nets over birds but differ from net guns and launchers in that compressed air is used as the propellant. This category includes a variety of devices including both hand-held “guns” and larger stationary net launchers. Training in the proper use of these nets and supervised field experience are necessary before authorization will be considered by the BBL.
- Rocket nets - Large nets launched by small rockets where rocket fuel is used as the propellant. This fuel is a controlled substance and requires special permission from the Federal government to possess. These nets are used to capture large numbers of birds during a single event, frequently over bait. Formal training in the use of these nets and supervised field experience are necessary before authorization will be considered by the BBL.
- Spot-lighting/night-lighting - Birds are blinded by bright lights in the dark and can then be captured using hand nets or other methods. May require additional state permits.
- Swedish Goshawk Trap - A large wood and mesh cage that houses a lure animal. The trap is held open by a narrow perch bar that collapses when the raptor lands on it, closing the trap doors over the raptor.
- Swim-in traps - Large semi-permanent structures constructed over water with funnel-like entrances that allow waterfowl and other waterbirds to easily enter but not readily exit. These traps are covered with netting or wire so that the birds cannot fly out. Grain or other bait is normally used to attract birds into the trap.
- Trap at Cavity, Burrow, or Nest Box - Placing a trap or other device at the entrance of cavities, burrows, and/or boxes to capture adult birds entering or exiting these sites. This technique applies to situations where a trap is placed over the entrance and the adults cannot reach or leave their nests/roosts without entering the trap.
- Walk-in traps - A large wire or net enclosure with funnel-like entrances that allows birds to easily walk into but not readily exit. There are numerous varieties, many use drift fences to guide birds toward the entrances. Bait is normally used to attract birds into the trap.
- Whoosh nets - A system of bungee cords provides the energy to project a mesh net over an individual bird or small group of birds, frequently over bait. Training in the proper use of these nets is necessary before authorization will be considered by the BBL.
Some trapping techniques require more time in the field working under an experienced bander. See the following paragraphs:
Mist nets require a high degree of skill and manual dexterity if they are to be used without causing undue injury or mortality to birds. They also are likely to capture a wider variety of species than other traps, usually necessitating a greater knowledge of identification and aging and sexing techniques. A bander who needs authorization to use mist nets should provide justification. The applicant may be requested to work with a bander who is experienced in the use of nets and to obtain a recommendation from that bander. In the U.S., each mist net (and trap) should bear a tag with the bander's name and permit number. As an alternative, the immediate vicinity of such devices may be posted with signs provided by the Bird Banding Laboratory. Mist nets should be furled if left up and they should not be left up if there is even the slightest chance that someone may come upon them. A net that is opened accidently can kill lots of birds and bats.
Rocket Nets, Cannon nets, Net Guns to Capture Migratory Birds
A bander who needs authorization to use rocket, cannon nets or net guns should provide justification and list their experience.
The use of rocket or cannon nets as a capture device is very tightly regulated. The purchasing of the charges used to propel the net is controlled and users must be on an approved purchaser’s list in order to purchase the charges. These capture devices may catch large numbers of birds at one time, and banders using these nets should be trained in the use of the nets and set up to handle and process large numbers of birds safely.
Researchers who have a need to use rocket or cannon nets in the USA may request permission to use these capture devices from the US Fish and Wildlife Service http://www.fws.gov/ but should allow an extensive lead time. Allow a minimum of six months to a year between the time the request is made and the time you actually need the rocket net charges in your possession. The shipping and distribution of the charges used to propel the nets is also restricted, and delivery of the charges from the manufacturer to the researcher may take a lengthy period of time.
Only researches within federal and state agencies or with a direct university link are normally allowed to purchase and use rocket net charges. Contractors (even contractors for agencies), pest control companies, and private individuals are not normally approved to be allowed to purchase the rocket net charges.
The manufacturer of rocket net charges can only sell these charges to those on the approved list of purchasers. To be added to this list, send a written request to the appropriate U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director http://www.fws.gov/. The request should include a description of the need to use rocket nets and the research involved, as well as a statement that only trained personnel will be allowed to use the rocket nets and that any unused charges will be dealt with in an appropriate, approved manner. If the Regional Director approves the request you will be given an ID number and allowed to purchase the charges.
Drugs/tranquilizers to Capture Migratory Birds
Some chemical agents may be used to tranquilize birds and enable their capture for marking. This technique requires a high degree of skill. Authorization will be granted only in exceptional cases.
Before requesting such authorization from the U.S. Bird Banding Laboratory, write for an Investigational New Animal Drug (INAD) letter of permission from the FDA to use drugs to capture birds. The Bird Banding Offices will review requests with the appropriate regional offices. At least 2 months days should be allowed for such applications to be processed.
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