Have you been hearing the sounds of birds chirping coming from your chimney lately? Your chimney may have been invaded by a family of chimney swifts, a migratory bird that is protected by law under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This means that it is illegal to remove these birds and/or their eggs while they are living inside your chimney. Although they will leave on their own in the fall to return to South America, you will have to endure sharing your home with these birds until they do leave. Our staff at Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service has experience with dealing with chimney swifts, and we can give you advice on how to deal with these birds if they do nest inside your chimney. We can also help you keep these migratory birds from ever getting into your chimney. We would like to answer a few questions about chimney swifts to help you learn more about these birds.
What are chimney swifts?
Small birds with cigar-shaped bodies, chimney swifts live in South America during the fall and winter and in North America during the spring and summer. These birds are migratory and will keep returning to the same homes each time they switch continents. In the past, chimney swifts made their homes in tall, hollow trees, but due to an increase in construction and development causing forests of these trees to be cut down across North America, these birds have started making masonry chimneys their new favorite homes. While not everyone enjoys sharing his home with a family of chimney swifts, insect haters may find them to be beneficial as one family can eat as many as 12,000 flying insects, including mosquitos, termites, and gnats, a day, according to The Chimney Swift Conservation Association.
A family of chimney swifts has nested in my chimney. What can I do?
Since these birds are protected by federal law, you cannot have them removed from your chimney, but they are not really bad house guests. They will definitely cut back on the number of flying insects in your home! If the noises of these birds are bothering you, the loudest of their sounds is from the baby birds as they are being fed by their parents, and within two weeks, the babies will be old enough to feed themselves, and the majority of the loud noises will be over. Fortunately, chimney swifts will leave on their own in the fall to return to South America. After they depart, you should schedule a chimney sweeping from Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service to have their nests removed as these empty nests can pose problems, including fire hazards.
How can I best prevent chimney swifts from making a home in my chimney?
The best way to keep these birds out of your chimney is to have a good-quality chimney cap installed on top of your chimney. This cap should be equipped with metal mesh sides that will prevent chimney swifts from trying to move into your chimney. Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service is proud to sell and install a wide variety of caps, and we can show you which ones are the most successful at keeping these birds from ever getting into your chimney.