Preventing Chimney Swifts from Calling Your Chimney Home
There are many different animals of all species and sizes that tend to make their homes inside of chimneys. Chimney swifts are unique because they can only live in a structure similar to a chimney. Although they can be very beautiful and interesting birds, many homeowners are interested in how they can keep them from ever moving into their chimneys.
The best way to avoid a chimney swift or any other animal from moving into the chimney is to install a chimney cap. A chimney cap goes right over the top of the chimney and prevents unwanted material from entering the flue. It is fairly inexpensive and is a very effective way of keeping these birds out. Speak with a fireplace and chimney professional to find out what type of cap will work best with the particular chimney.
The reason that chimney swifts make their homes in chimneys is because they cannot perch horizontally, such as on a normal branch. They must attach themselves to the side of a narrow wall and, if they try to do anything else, they simply fall to the ground. One solution is to build a chimney swift tower on the property. This simple structure is similar to a chimney and may attract the birds rather than the actual chimney.
It is important to know that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act protects these particular birds. This means that it is illegal for anyone to remove one of these birds once they have nested without the proper permits. With that in mind, if a family of chimney swifts does set up shop in the chimney, they will be there until they decide to leave. Trying to remove them is not only dangerous, but it is actually illegal.
When the birds do finally leave in the fall, there are steps that can be taken to keep them from returning. The most important thing is to have the chimney cleaned completely, removing all debris left behind from the nests. These birds tend to return to the same place each year and leaving evidence of them may attract them back to the same chimney. When having a chimney sweep in to do the annual inspection and cleaning, be sure to mention that chimney swifts were there during the summer.
Although the noises they make can be a nuisance, homeowners should rest assured that chimney swifts will not damage the chimney in any way. In fact, they can actually help the family by eating the bugs that can cause so much irritation during the summer months. If one of the birds happens to fall into the fireplace, simply pick it up gently and place it back on the wall of the chimney. They should not bother anyone in the home and will leave at the end of their migratory season.
Chimney swifts are interesting birds, but no homeowner wants to share their chimney with them. However, those who wish to avoid them completely can easily do so by installing a chimney cap. If the birds to set up nests in the chimney, keep in mind that it is against the law to remove them. Simply wait until they leave on their own and then have a chimney sweep remove any debris left behind by the birds.