Avian bycatch, a common and undesired occurrence in small mammal studies, should be minimized by researchers. We examined effects of trap covering, treadle color (copper or yellow plastic), trap size (mouse or rat), and trap weathering (traps <1 yr or ≥1 yr old) on avian bycatch during 3 years. We found that covered traps caught 81% fewer birds and 70% fewer small mammals than did uncovered traps, that mouse traps caught 30% more birds and 38% more small mammals than did rat traps, and no capture differences for treadle color or trap weathering. Covered traps effectively reduced avian bycatch and should be used when reduced small-mammal capture rates are acceptable.
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Vol. 74 • No. 3