Have you ever noticed a little brown bird flying in and out of your chimney in the spring? If you have, chances are that you had a chimney swift building a nest in your chimney. Chimney swifts usually build their nests in hollowed out trees in forests. Like many animals, however,  they have adapted to urbanization by nesting inside chimneys which closely mimic their natural nesting habitat. At Old Smokey’s we know that chimney swifts can be a nuisance, but there are some important things you must consider when dealing with them.

Nesting Issues

Although they may seem harmless and usually don’t occupy your chimney during the time of year when you are using your fireplace, chimney swift nests can cause all sorts of issues with ventilation and can even be a fire hazard when, in the fall, the nest drys up and fall into your flue. Even worse, if you have a metal or clay flue, chimney swifts may sometimes lose their grip and fall and get trapped in your flue killing the bird and clogging your chimney flue as well.

Nest Removal

So, how do you get rid of chimney swift nests? Chimney swift nests can be removed, however, you must take extreme caution to do so at the right time of the year. This is because chimney swifts are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 making it illegal to remove their nest when it is still being occupied. Removing a nest can bring fines and other penalties enforced by the federal government. Therefore, the best method for removing a chimney swift nest from your chimney is to have a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified chimney technician remove the nest for you. First, a CSIA-certified chimney technician has all the correct safety equipment to handle a nest removal on top of your roof. Secondly, a CSIA-certified technician will be able to tell if the nest is still being occupied giving you peace of mind that you aren’t doing anything illegal.

Nesting Prevention

The best way to prevent a chimney swift from building a nest in your chimney is to block access to your chimney opening. This can be done by making sure you have a functioning chimney cap installed. A chimney cap prevents chimney swifts, and other animals, from entering your chimney and, therefore, prevents them from building a nest in there. Besides animals, chimney caps also prevent other things such as sticks, leaves, and moisture from entering your chimney, So, even if you aren’t worried about chimney swifts, it’s still an excellent idea to have a functional chimney cap.

Prevent chimney swifts from entering your chimney before it’s too late! Now is the time to have your chimney cap inspected and while you’re at it, you may as well have your annual chimney inspection as well. Don’t hesitate, call Old Smokey’s at 260-424-0009 or schedule an appointment online today!