Trapping White Ibises with Rocket Nets and Mist Nets in the Florida Everglades

Julie A. Heath, Boise State University
Peter C. Frederick, University of Florida


We lured White Ibises (Eudocimus albus) to trap sites with decoy plastic flamingos and captured them with a rocket net or mist nets. Our ability to attract ibises to a site (and consequently our capture success) was affected by vegetation height and water depth but not by decoy numbers or their arrangement. Both the rocket net (37 ibises) and mist nets (97 ibises) caught birds. The number of birds captured per day was the same for both methods, but the rocket net trap captured more birds per set than did mist nets. Because mist nets were easy to reset we captured 1–2 birds per set multiple times in one day with mist nets. We preferred mist nets over rocket net traps because mist nets allowed for shorter bird processing times, greater ease of set up, and fewer safety considerations for transport and operation of the trap. Also, rocket nets required more equipment and expense. Although we discouraged other species from landing at a trap site, there was evidence that these techniques may also be useful for capturing other wading birds.