Birds Between Habitats:
A Snapshot During Migration at a Bird Banding Station

Catching Songbirds in a Mist Net
(Viewing Tips)

The nets that we use to catch birds are called “mist nets”, m-i-s-t, because they’re so fine they look almost like mist. And if you look at them lengthwise you can see the net, but if you look at them at a right angle, especially on a low-light day, they become almost invisible. And the bird flies out of the thicket, hits the net, and then, it’s not that it gets entangled in the net itself, but there are these long horizontal lines that we call “trammel lines”. And what they do is form pouches in the net, so that the bird drops down into the pouch. They hit this, and it’s like hitting the softest trampoline in the world, and slows their flight, and then they drop into this unearthly soft hammock, and they just lie there quietly until we come along and take the bird out of the net.