Dealing with Chimney Swifts

Chimney Swifts don't belong in your chimney! Keep them out with a chimney cap

Chimney Swifts don’t belong in your chimney! Keep them out with a chimney cap

If you have heard birds chirping from your fireplace, it is quite possible that your chimney become a nesting home for chimney swifts. Since these birds are federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, it is against the law for anyone, even a professional chimney company like Chim Cheree, The Chimney Specialists, to remove these birds from your chimney. Luckily, these birds will leave on their own in early fall to spend the winter further south, but not everyone wants to share a chimney with birds. After the family of chimney swifts has vacated your chimney, you do have a couple of options to prevent the birds from returning in the following spring. The National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG) recommends installing a chimney cap on top of your chimney to keep the birds out, or you could even provide the family with a new home by building a chimney swift tower. Chim Cheree, The Chimney Specialists would like to tell you a bit more about chimney swifts and how you can keep them from nesting in your chimney.

What exactly are chimney swifts?

Known as the most common species of this type of bird found east of the Rocky Mountains, chimney swifts typically make their arrival in the United States in mid-March. The reason that so many of these birds choose chimneys to nest inside to breed during the summer is the fact that their usual homes of large hollow trees have been cut down. Even though these baby birds can be very noisy, particularly at feeding time, chimney swifts can be extremely beneficial as housemates. A family of these birds generally eats over 12,000 flying insects, including mosquitoes, gnats, termites, and biting flies, a day. Once the weather cools down in the fall, these migratory birds instinctively leave their nests to spend the winter in Peru. The reason why taking preventive action is so important to keep these birds from coming back to nest in your chimney again in the following spring is that chimney swifts tend to return to the same nesting spots year after year.

How can a chimney cap prevent these birds and other animals from taking up residence in my chimney?

Constructed from stainless steel, aluminum, copper, or galvanized steel, chimney caps are equipped with sides of metal mesh screening that keeps birds, squirrels, raccoons, and other animals from being able to easily enter your chimney. When choosing a cap for your chimney, you want to be sure the meshing is small enough to keep birds and animals out while still having enough space for the dangerously toxic by-products of combustion to freely escape out of your chimney.

What are the other benefits of capping my chimney?

The most important reason for chimney cap installation is protecting your chimney from damaging water penetration. When water is able to leak into the bricks and mortar of your chimney, it can cause potentially devastating and expensive damage to your chimney’s structure. Chimney caps also help to increase draft in windy locations and to keep hazardous sparks from escaping out of your chimney and igniting a fire.

Tell me more about chimney swift towers.

To enjoy the benefits of the chimney swifts eating pesky flying insects without the birds living inside your chimney, you can consider building a chimney swift tower for a safe place for them to nest in the spring and summer. Resembling a free-standing chimney, these towers provide good homes to these birds.

Want to know more information about installing chimney caps and building chimney swift towers? Contact Chim Cheree, The Chimney Specialists to learn more about keeping chimney swifts out of your chimney.

By David Kline | Tagged with: Tags: , |