Bal-chatri, or BC, traps are one of the more common traps used in falconry. They are especially effective for trapping red-tailed hawks and are often the first trap used by an apprentice falconer. They consist of a dome that holds bait and is covered in small nooses. When a bird attempts to catch the bait it’s toes are caught in the nooses. The falconer trying to trap the hawk is typically a short distance away and can run to the bird before the nooses damage it’s toes.
BC traps are quite easy to assemble. All you need is some 1/2″ hardware cloth, 20 lb fishing line, a bit of plywood, and an old hose.
Begin by forming the hardware cloth into a dome shape. I formed it be hammering the cloth in a large mixing bowl.
Next, attach a bottom to the dome. I’ve seen many BC traps with a wire base, but I wanted a bit more weight so used a plywood base. Remember to add a door to the base where you can put the bait in.
I added some custom lead weights to the base. I accumulated the lead by picking up tire weights on the side of the road for the last few years.
Next, attach monofilament nooses to the trap. I like spiderwire brand fishing line as it is stronger than other monofilament of the same diameter. Twenty pound test is probably hte minimum you can use for a RT. It took me approximately 8 hours to cut and tie all of the nooses.
My trap needed a bit more weight. I’ve seen some suggestions to attach a solid metal ring, but I don’t have anything to bend like that. Instead I cut a length of garden hose and filled it with sand. I attached one end of the hose to the other and then tied the ring to the trap. This added a bit of weight, hopefully making the trap heavy enough to restrain a red-tail, but not too heavy that it will cause harm.