As a young boy growing up in a small town in the midwest...my dad and his two brothers would often times look for things to do. Lots of times that led to trouble. They did use to catch birds and get money for the feet but, it was Starling birds not black birds. Sorry, my bad. These were the birds that ate the crops. The three boys would go into the barn at night and shine flashlights and the poor birds would fly right at the light thinking it was the sun. Instead of the going towards the sun to warm their feathers and chirp a song of delight, they were whacked with a tennis racket and stuffed into a sack. This is where the story gets a little dicey...I am not sure if the bird was dead prior to cutting off the feet but, at some point their feet were removed and taken up to the County building for 20 cents. Sometimes the boys would keep the feet in the bag for several days so that they would be nice and stinky and the woman at the office did not want to count them. Poor woman, I know what it is like to smell stinky feet (see prior post about my car if this is unclear). Apparently, they also got 50 cents for gopher tails and I am sure they had a very inhumane way of getting those tails as well.
As for the black birds, they did kill the black birds but apparently it was for no reason whatsoever. They would catch them in a mink cage and start the car and carbon monoxide them and bring them back to life. This process was continued until the bird was dead. Being the nice, sweet boys that they were, they then buried them in a box by the barn while playing Taps. Now, I distinctly remember him telling this story and he would "shove the bird up the tailpipe of the car" all the while gesturing the shoving and it didn't look nice. Poor, defenseless little bird. Apparently, he doesn't want to sound like a bird hater now. Good try, Dad!!