how to catch a cardinal bird

Glue traps are a form of pest control that consists of a very sticky adhesive on a board or tray. Victims of the traps get stuck to the glue and are unable to free themselves. While it may seem like a cheap alternative and easy to clean up, glue traps are one of the most inhumane methods of pest control to use. If not checked regularly, victims who don’t kill themselves struggling to get free end up dying a slow, painful death from starvation. The worst part is that these traps are indiscriminate and wildlife that accidentally encounters these traps can suffer the same fate as the pests.

At the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW), a wide variety of animals have been admitted stuck to a glue trap, including black racer snakes, eastern screech owls, and a variety of songbirds. These animals are not typically the first victims of the traps, but rather small insects and other prey items are the first ones stuck. As these creatures are struggling to free themselves, they appear as easy targets for the animals that eat them. As they swoop in for a meal, they also become stuck to the sticky substance.

Even if an animal is able to free itself from the sticky situation, residue left by the glue can continue to cause problems, or they may lose fur or feathers in the process. Damaged feathers can leave a bird unable to fly and evade predators.

On Monday, October 26, a mating pair of northern cardinals (#20-4884 & #20-4885) were admitted to the wildlife hospital after both were stuck to the same glue board in Cape Coral, Florida. The person who found them was able to remove them from the trap, but both suffered damage to their feathers.

“Both birds had their wings and tails stuck the glue and had complete loss of their tail feathers,” says Dr. Melanie Peel, a veterinary intern at CROW. “The female lost a substantial amount of primary and secondary feathers on her wings while the male only had a few broken feathers on his right wing.”

“The female was very lethargic when they arrived, but the male was bright and alert,” she continued. “After performing our initial exam, we provided them pain medication and fluids.”

Sadly, the female cardinal passed away overnight. The male cardinal was anesthetized the next morning and a full set of radiographs were taken. Thankfully, he did not have any broken bones. He continued to receive pain medication for a couple days and was noted to be flying around the soft-sided enclosure where he was housed. A flight test in an outdoor enclosure confirmed he was well flighted, even with the missing wing and tail feathers. Since he was also eating well on his own, he was deemed fit for release. The rescuer was able to return him where he was found on October 28.

If you find an animal stuck in a glue trap, we recommend getting it to a wildlife facility as quickly as possible. It is best to let wildlife professionals safely remove the animal from the trap while reducing the chance for further injury. Cover sticky parts of the trap with sand or paper to prevent other parts of the animal from becoming stuck and transport it, trap and all, to your local wildlife rehabilitator such as CROW. If you are unable to immediately transport the animal, please contact a wildlife rehabilitator before attempting to remove it from the trap.

THIS WEEK AT CROW (10/21-10/27): There were 80 new patients admitted to CROW’s Wildlife Hospital including seven eastern cottontail rabbits, four Virginia opossums, three peninsula cooters, a red-bellied woodpecker, an eastern screech owl, an American coot, and a purple gallinule. Recent Releases include a Cooper’s hawk, a snowy egret, an eastern glass lizard and bald eagle. Check out a full list of CROW’s current patients and recent releases! Wildlife doesn’t have health insurance! Your donations help cover the costs of medical and rehabilitative care for over 5,000 patients admitted to CROW’s Wildlife Hospital each year! Want to learn more about wildlife rehabilitation? Stop by CROW’s Visitor Education Center at 3883 Sanibel Captiva Road.

About Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) Established in 1968, the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) is a teaching hospital saving the sick, injured and orphaned native and migratory wildlife of Southwest Florida and beyond. Through state-of-the-art veterinary care, public education programs and an engaging visitor center, CROW works to improve the health of the environment, humans and our animals through wildlife medicine. For more information, or to plan your visit, go to If you find an animal that is in need of help, call (239) 472-3644 ext. #222.


  • Question Where should I put my bird feeder? Roger J. Lederer, PhD Ornithologist Dr. Roger Lederer is an Ornithologist and the founder of Ornithology. com, an informative website about wild birds. Dr. Lederer has studied, written about, and taught birds for more than 40 years. He has traveled to over 100 countries to study birds. Dr. Lederer has served as the dean of the College of Natural Sciences, the chair of the biological sciences department, and an Emeritus Professor of biological sciences at California State University, Chico. In addition to ten books and over thirty research papers on birds, he is the author of the textbook “Ecology and Field Biology.” ” Dr. In addition to many other organizations and publications, Lederer has advised the BBC, National Geographic, National Public Radio, ABC News, and the Guinness Book of World Records. Roger J. Answer from Lederer, PhD, Ornithologist Expert: Position the feeder near bushes or trees. In this manner, the birds will always have a place to flee in the event of danger. Additionally, if the feeder is close to a window, make sure it is out of the birds’ direct line of flight to prevent them from unintentionally hitting the glass.
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Install a platform or stationary bird feeder and fill it with black sunflower seeds, which cardinals adore, to draw them. As cardinals are ground feeders, you can also scatter some of the seeds there. Additionally, place a bird bath close by so that cardinals have a place to groom themselves. Even better, you can install a heated bird bath to draw in lots of cardinals in the chilly winter months. Continue reading for more advice on luring cardinals, such as how to keep predators out of your yard!

Reader Success Stories

  • Melody Glass: “I teach young children in Indiana. I’m from Colorado.” I’m investigating how I can support the local kids in caring for the birds. Cardinals are the bird of Indiana. Children love the beautiful colors. We want to bring them closer to our school. “. ” more Rated this article: .


Can you catch a red cardinal?

That would be illegal. Cardinals, along with every other type of non-game birds, are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. It is illegal to capture, buy, sell, or possess them in captivity in general. You could be fined just for having a feather.

Is there a way to attract cardinals?

When selecting plants to attract cardinals, look for some with medium-sized seeds as well as a mixture of seasonality. Seed-bearing plants to try include Purple Majesty millet, nasturtium, purple coneflower, safflower, sunflower and sweet pea. Check out the kitchen staples that will help you attract birds.

What is a cardinals favorite food?

Northern Cardinals feature a strong, thick beak, which is perfect for large seeds and other hearty foods. Safflower seeds, black oil sunflower seeds, and white milo are among a Northern Cardinal’s favorite seed options. In addition to large seeds, Cardinals enjoy eating crushed peanuts, cracked corn, and berries.

What will scare cardinals away?

Place decoys that look like predatory birds around the areas the cardinals frequent. Owl, hawk and osprey decoys make the cardinals worry they may become food. Move the decoys periodically to throw the cardinals off.