Several methods exist to capture ground-nesting birds, yet questions remain concerning their effectiveness, cost and safety. An experiment was conducted comparing traps commonly used to capture ground-nesting shorebirds. Data were collected on Snowy Plovers (Charadrius nivosus) nesting at Great Salt Lake, Utah during the 2009 breeding season. The three most common traps used to capture nesting Snowy Plovers (spring trap, walk-in funnel trap, leg-hold noose mats) were compared in the time required to use the trap (e.g. time to install at nest), capture success and construction costs. These results indicated that the funnel trap had the lowest total time at the nest (P < 0.01) and per trapping attempt, highest capture rate, fewest failed set up attempts, low disturbance to the nest site and was the least expensive to build. Based on these findings, the funnel trap should allow avian researchers to maximize their time, resources and efforts when trapping ground-nesting shorebirds.
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Vol. 35 • No. 2