Larsen traps will catch all corvid pest species (ie. crows, magpies, jackdaws, jays, rooks) at all times of the year, but their particular value is in catching crows and magpies when they set up their breeding territories.
Single side entry door with breakable perch for easy setting, dimensions 95 x 48 x 43 cms.
Facts & Tips
We suggest that trapping effort is restricted to spring and early summer. This is the period of maximum game vulnerability (gamebirds, suffer from corvid predation on their eggs or young, and the Larsen trap is potentially an effective tool in the conservation of these birds) and when magpies are setting up their breeding territory, and the time when Larsen traps are most effective. Non-breeding birds flock more and roam a much larger area. Trapping outside of the breeding period will require you to diminish the population over a much larger area.
Trapping with a call-bird: An aid to trapping is the use of a previously caught call-bird. A crow is best as they dominate magpies in the wild. Uncaught territory holders think a single call-bird is an intruder, and will try to drive it away. They are very aggressive, and if the trap is left in peace, few are so shy that they will not get caught.
The licence allowing use of Larsens specifies that you must provide adequate food, water at all times, appropriate shelter and a perch that does not cause discomfort to the call-bird's feet. Appropriate foo could be a dried dog food, soaked.
You have a legal obligation under a General Licence to visit each call-bird at least once a day at intervals of not more than 24 hours to renew food and water.
If you are familiar with your land, you will know the specific trees that always seem to attract crow or magpie nests. If you are just getting to know the area, look out for nest-building activity from the beginning of March. Before bud-burst, magpie nests are very obvious in the trees. Crows, and to a lesser extent magpies, often sit high in the trees near the centre of their territory, literally acting sentinel. You should aim to place a trap in plain view of sentinels, and within 100 yards of the nest site. If you haven't time to watch out for nests or sentinels, concentrate on small copses and spinneys, thick hedges and woodland edges.
Place the trap on the ground, especially for crows, which like to approach on the ground. However, when trapping magpies among bushes, or in a dense hedge, raising the trap above brambles gives it a better chance of being seen. Do not be afraid to experiment with setting traps in cover. A good call-bird will often reply to the calls of the territory holder even though the trap is out of sight.
If you have not caught anything within two days, it is best to move the trap and use it elsewhere. If you know that there are birds which will not go in, rest the site for a few days and then bring back the trap with a new decoy.
Trapping with bait: You can trap magpies with bait alone but you will need several traps to be sure of success and the strategy is rather different.
Although the trap should be obvious, birds will be more wary of it when there is no call-bird. So it is probably unwise to stand it out in the open. Put it among bushes, or at the base of a hedge or tree.
In contrast to using call-birds, it may take a while for your bait to be spotted (because it doesn't move), or for birds to overcome their natural fear of novel objects. So anticipate quite a long effort, but do check your traps daily. Pre-baiting (with the trap unset) is completely unnecessary -if a bird goes in, you might as well catch it.
The best bait by far is the egg. However, crows and magpies seem to show a distinct seasonal response to eggs, and will only show keen interest when eggs are naturally available. Outside late March to late July, they are rather indifferent.
When you use eggs, aim to make the offering look like a depredated nest. Make a 'nest' of dead grass in one (only one) of the catching compartments, and arrange a clutch of five or six eggs in it. Cracked hens' eggs are fine.Break two or three eggs around the trap, and leave the eggshells lying about. Most importantly, on the flat board that shelters a call-bird when present, or on the flat top between the two catching compartments, carefully break an egg so that the contents lie in a tempting puddle. Renew this egg regularly: it is the glistening fresh egg that catches the corvid eye.
1. Check your trap every day (at intervals of no more than 24 hours).
2. Provide adequate food, water at all times, appropriate shelter and a suitable perch.
3. Only the following seven species can be used as decoys: crow, magpie, rook, jackdaw, jay, ring-necked and monk parakeets.
4. Any non-target captures that are fit for release should be let go as soon as they are discovered and as close as possible to the point of capture.
5. Remove the decoy, food and water if the trap is not in use.
6. Make sure that the trap is rendered incapable of holding or catching birds 'when in the open and not in use'.