Trapping territorial Black-billed Magpies (Pica pica) is challenging because magpies are extremely wary birds. We describe three successful techniques to capture territorial magpies during different periods of the breeding cycle. Funneled walk-in traps were more effective early in the breeding season (late February to late March) when snow covered the ground. A bal-chatri trap with an adult female magpie decoy captured 43% of targeted birds when female magpies were fertile and incubating. A mist-net with a mounted Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) decoy in front of the net captured 52% of targeted birds when adults were feeding nestlings.
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Vol. 71 • No. 4