Chimney Swifts & Your Chimney

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It’s not a rare occurrence to see a bird or other woodland animal in your chimney. While this is annoying, inconvenient, and known for causing some bad smells and messes, it can usually be resolved quickly enough. Unless, of course, that creature is a chimney swift. Learn more about these birds below, then let us help you ensure they can’t get into your chimney this summer. Chimspector Venting Specialists has got your back!

History Behind The Birds

Chimney swifts have been studied for decades upon decades, but they’re not known for making the process easy. These birds are known for spending most of their time in the air, even bathing while in flight, so getting a clear picture of their lifestyle can be a challenge! Fortunately, over time, we’ve come to know quite a bit about them.

These creatures are small in stature, with short necks, tails, and bills. They’re typically darker in color, and they often appear to be black when flying at night, making them very hard to spot. Their wings are long, narrow, stiff, and curved, and they’re known for their shallow wingbeats. Some refer to them as a “flying cigar.”

Chimneys, cave walls, hollowed trees, and similar vertical surfaces are ideal spots for chimney swifts to build their nests because the critters can’t perch on a branch like most bird species. Rather, they cling to the sides of the wall, then use their sticky saliva to construct their nest. This is why they love the cozy comfort of your chimney!

Can I Remove Them?

The shorter answer – no. Once they’ve settled in, they must be left alone until they leave again for migration. Why? Well, chimney swifts are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act due to their declining population, so removing them, their nesting materials or their young/eggs is against the law, and it could have negative impacts on the future existence of the creature.

If removal is attempted, the person could face fines and other penalties. This means putting off any chimney maintenance and putting up with chirping sounds for a short time, neither of which is ideal, but both of which are necessary. The birds will eventually leave on their own accord, allowing you to put your fireplace to use again.

How Do I Avoid This Issue Down The Line?

If you’ve had chimney swifts in your chimney in the past, then you know how frustrating the situation can be. Putting off repairs, inspections, sweepings, and other maintenance means waiting longer for the start of your personal burning season to begin, and it causes a lot of inconveniences overall. That’s where preventative maintenance comes in.

The best step you can take is to have a chimney cap installed. Many know how effective chimney caps are for keeping out water and excess debris, but they make a big difference for preventing animal entry, too. When the birds come back next spring, they’ll have no way to enter, forcing them to build their nests elsewhere. This takes the burden off of you, and it keeps the chimney swifts safer, too!

Our team can help you out. Call us today to learn more!