Capture techniques were developed to study the American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus). Mirror traps, mist nets, landing nets, night capture, funnel traps and net gun techniques were evaluated. Mirror traps and mist nets were used with a tape recording of the pumping call of the male bittern. Mist nets were also used to capture females at nest sites. Long-handled fish landing nets were used to capture molting birds and females on nests. Funnel traps were set at feeding sites. Mirror traps had a 50% success rate and were the most efficient means of capturing males. Mist nets were versatile with success rates of 40% on males and 50% on females. Landing net success was 76% on males and 70% on females but restricted to specific situations. Night capture was successful 33% of the time and only on molting birds. Net guns had limited success (6%) due to lack of skill and difficult to get close to birds. Funnel traps were not fully tested.
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Vol. 25 • No. 4