Bird Clap Net

If you check the “Bird Traps” category you will find a post about the “Clap Trap.” It is an ingenious idea that has been around for a long time.  In my post I reference it being used in a study of sandhill cranes, in Florida. I didn’t mention it in the post but the researchers invited a well known bird trapper from India to come and demonstrate the construction and use of the clap trap.

Bird Clap Net

I was recently on the Vintage Traps and Collectibles website and found two very interesting vintage photographs; one shows a “Clap Net” and the other has a newspaper clipping and a separate advertisement of the “Kings Lightning Trap” which looks like it might have been a spring loaded take on the clap trap. The image and advertisement are from a New Zealand newspaper

Below is the photo of the Clap Net.

The Clap Net was a one person managed net that would locate on the opposite side of a tree from the drivers

When the person on the opposite side of a tree created a commotion, many birds wound up flying into the net which was then closed and lowered to the ground to harvest the birds.

What made it possible for one person to manage the clap net was the belt and pouches which supported it. Take a look at the enlargement.

Supporting the weight of the net and poles on the operators waist allowed him to control it.

Powered Clap Net?

The King’s Lightning Trap appears to be from around 1919. It  is very interesting because it used a spring and trigger to cast a net over the birds it targeted. It appears to be patterned after the clap trap. It is hard to make out details from the image, but when I first learned about the clap trap I almost immediately thought about how it might be powered.

From the caption in the newspaper article:


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.”

For additional details on both of these traps, head on over to the Vintage Traps and Collectibles website. While you are there, take a look at their wide selection of photos and examples of various traps. Some very good stuff is on hand and I am sure what you see will generate numerous ideas. They also have some great books on sale.

Author: Paul

I was brought up in a family where respect for the outdoors and personal independence were strong values. Early life experience on the small farms of my extended family, in home vegetable gardens and canning and freezing of family grown produce made having a large pantry a commonplace. A career in the nuclear industry and positions in emergency response within that field inculcated a philosophy of preparedness. My personal experience of multi-day power outages only reinforced the possibility of infrastructure breakdown. A growing awareness of possible threats to the electrical grid from pandemic, economic breakdown, cyber-attack, solar storms and EMP attack lead to an interest in the preparedness field with regards to society and the individual family. I continue to research and learn in the prepping field and look forward to assembling additional books in the near future to complement my first, "Survival Fish Harvesting.". I may be contacted at