This section is from the book "The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation", by George Abbey. Also available from Amazon: The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation.
A winter visitor, and feeding upon worms, larvae, insects, seeds and wild fruits, such as berries of mountain-ash, hawthorn (haws), holly, briar (hips), etc., no complaint is lodged against the fieldfare by any person other than the admirer of autumn and winter berried plants, which are shorn of their beauty during severe weather by many other members of the thrush family as well as fieldfares. But the birds afford sport and adjunct to the table, therefore are sought after by some sportsmen and esteemed by some gastronomists. The gun is mostly used for bringing down fieldfares in Britain, but on the Continent the whole thrush family is taken in snares. There are two methods of hanging the hair nooses, but in both the snarer uses twigs about 18 in. in length. In one the twig is bent in the form of the figure 6, the tail end running through a slit cut in the upper part of the twig. The other method is to sharpen a twig at both ends and insert the points into a stem of underwood, thus forming a bow, of which the stem forms the string below the noose: and hanging from the lower part of the bow is placed a small branch, with a few berries of mountain-ash or other tree taken by the birds as food: this is fixed to the bow by inserting the stalk into a slit in the wood.
The noose is attached to the twig, and so arranged as to hang neatly in the middle of the bow, and the lower part about three fingers' breadth from the bottom. The bird alighting on the lower side of the bow, and bending its neck to reach the berries, places its head in the noose, and then the fowler finds the victim hanging by the neck. The whole thrush family, which includes the blackbird, song and missel thrush, may be captured by the methods or modifications of them, foreshewn: and as they are, including redwings, nearly, if not quite, as good food as fieldfares, some compensation for damage inflicted on fruit crops may be had for the disagreeable task of killing them.