For a box of the size we have given, a length of about twenty-eight inches will be found to answer. Before making the hoop, however, its hinges should be ready for it. Two screw eyes, or staples of bent wire should be driven into the bottom of the box between the two walls, one in the exact middle of each side. The iron wire should now be bent so as to fit round and settle into the space between the boxes, letting each end rest [Page 82] over the screws in the bottom. It will be found that there will be enough surplus wire on each end to form into a loop with the pincers. These loops should be passed through the screws or rings already inserted, and then pinched together; the hinge will thus be made, and will appear as at (c). If properly done, they should allow the hoop to pass freely from one end of the box to the other, and settle easily between the partitions. If this hinge should prove too complicated for our young readers, they may resort to another method, which, although not so durable, will answer very well. In this case the wire will only need to reach to the exact middle of the long sides. No surplus being necessary, a length of twenty-six inches will be exactly right. On each end a short loop of tough Indian twine should be tied. By now fastening these loops to the bottom of the box with tacks, in the place of screws, it will form a hinge which will answer the purpose of the more complicated one.
The netting should consist of common mosquito gauze, or, if this cannot be had, any thin cloth may be substituted. It should be sewed fast to the iron wire, from hinge to hinge, and then, with the hoops resting in its groove, the netting should be drawn over the platform, and tacked to the bottom of the groove, on its remaining half. It should rest loosely over the platform to allow plenty of space for the bird.
But one more addition, and the trap is finished. We have mentioned the use of elastics in other varieties: they are of equal use here, and should be attached to the hoop as seen at (a) in the section drawing, the remaining ends being fastened to the bottom of the groove, as there indicated. These elastics should be placed on both sides, and stretched to such a tension as will draw the hoop quickly from one side to the other.
It will now be easy to set the trap. Draw the hoop back to the opposite end, tucking the netting into the groove; lower the spindle over it, resting it between the two little plugs, and securing its end beneath the catch on the platform. If the bait, [Page 83] consisting of bread-crumbs, berries, insects, or the like, be now sprinkled on the platform, the trap is ready for its feathered victim. It will easily be seen that the slightest weight on either side of this poised platform will throw the catch from the end of the spindle, and release the hoop and the platform in an instant is covered by the net, capturing whatever unlucky little bird may have chanced to jump upon it. This is a very pretty little trap, and will well repay the trouble of making it.