Cowbird Trapping Program

Cowbird trapping is a valuable management tool available to private landowners in Texas who enjoy bountiful songbird populations and wish to contribute positively to songbird diversity. Private landowners from approximately 50 counties participate in the cowbird trapping program each year. Cowbird populations are concentrated in certain habitats that are more typical of some regions than of others. Trappers follow strict protocols to protect other bird species and ensure that harvested cowbirds are humanely dispatched. Since the initiation of cowbird trapping programs in Texas, studies at specific sites have documented reductions in parasitism rates on Black-capped Vireo nests from over 90 percent in the 1980's to less than 10 percent by 1999. Note that no traps are to be in operation either before March 1, or after May 31.

TPWD is currently updating Certification Training to follow new USFWS guidelines. New information will be posted in spring of 2015 for trapping season.

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