Evaluation of a net launcher for capturing urban gulls


  • Associate Editor: Webb.


The capture of birds is a common part of many avian studies but often requires large investments of time and resources. We developed a novel technique for capturing gulls during the non-breeding season using a net launcher that was effective and efficient. The technique can be used in a variety of habitats and situations, including urban areas. Using this technique, we captured 1,326 gulls in 125 capture events from 2008 to 2012 in Massachusetts, USA. On average, 10 ring-billed gulls (Larus delawarensis; range = 1–37) were captured per trapping event. Capture rate (the number of birds captured per trapping event) was influenced by the type of bait used and also the time of the year (greatest in autumn, lowest in winter). Our capture technique could be adapted to catch a variety of urban or suburban birds and mammals that are attracted to bait. © 2014 The Wildlife Society.