We would not wish our readers to infer from this that a humming-bird might be captured or kept alive, for of all birds, they are the most fragile and delicate, and would die of fright, if from nothing else. They are chiefly used for ornamental purposes, and may be caught in a variety of ways. A few silk nooses hung about the flowers where the birds are seen to frequent, will sometimes succeed in ensnaring their tiny forms.
The blow-gun is often used with good success, and the concussion from a gun loaded simply with powder, and aimed in the direction of the bird, will often stun it so that it will fall to the ground. If a strong stream of water be forced upon the little creature, as it is fluttering from flower to flower, the result is the same, as the feathers become so wet that it cannot fly.
[Page 101] [Illustration: MISCELLANEOUS TRAPS]
[Page 103] BOOK IV.
[Illustration: T]he following chapter includes a variety of traps which have not been covered by any of the previous titles. Several novelties are contained in the list, and also a number of well known inventions.
There is probably no more familiar example of the trap kind than that of the common wooden box-trap, better known, perhaps, by our country boys as the rabbit-trap. A glance at our illustration, will readily bring it to mind, and easily explain its working to those not particularly acquainted with it. These traps may be made of any size, but, being usually employed in catching rabbits, require to be made quite large. They should be made of hard seasoned wood—oak or chestnut is the best—and of slabs about an inch in thickness. The pieces may be of the following dimensions: let the bottom board be 20+7 in.; side board, 20+9 in.; lid board 19+7 in., and the end piece of lid 7 in. square.
The tall end piece should be about 16 inches high by 7 broad. Let this be sharpened on the upper end, as seen in the engraving, and furnished with a slight groove on the summit, for the reception of the cord. Now to put the pieces together.
Nail the two sides to the edge of the bottom board, and fit in between them the high end piece, securing that also, with nails through the bottom and side boards. Next nail the lid board on to the small, square end piece, and fit the lid thus made neatly into its place.
To make the hinge for the lid, two small holes should be bored through the sides of the trap, about four inches from the tall end, and half an inch from the upper edge of each board. Let [Page 104] small nails now be driven through these holes into the edge of the lid, and it will be found to work freely upon them.