The Larsen trap is mainly a trap for magpies, although it also has been known to catch crows, jays and other corvids.
It is one of the few traps where it is legal to use a live bird to catch others – not as ‘bait’ in the usual sense but by using the natural instinct of these birds to guard their territory. Dominant birds, or new birds entering an area, will approach the call bird and in the course of the encounter will be caught.
The health and welfare of the call bird is very important – both morally and legally. It must be provided with water, food and shelter.
The trap must also be inspected at least daily.
If you fancy making your own Larsen trap there are plans in several of our books. In Trap Making Step by Step there is a detailed plan to build a traditional top opening wooden trap and the first picture below shows a trap built from those plans. In Traps & More Trap Making there are plans for mesh Larsen traps with side opening doors.