If you are hearing chirping sounds coming from your chimney, it is likely that you have a family of birds nesting inside the flue. Although your first thought might be to have these birds removed from your chimney, many species of birds have protections under federal law in the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This means that anyone who attempts to move the birds and/or their nests can be penalized with heavy fines.
In the Nashville area, the most common species of birds that have this protection is the chimney swift. Our chimney sweeps at Ashbusters have seen many chimney swift families over our years of taking care of the chimneys, and we have some tips on how to deal with sharing your chimney with these birds. We would like to share with you these tips and what we can do to make sure that they do not return next spring.
What are chimney swifts and why are they nesting inside my chimney?
Recognizable by their cigar-shaped bodies and graceful flight patterns, chimney swifts can be captivating to watch as they fly around in search of food for their babies. These birds migrate every spring to North America from their winter homes in Peru in search of tall hollow trees to nest. Because these birds are unable to stand upright or even perch, they need this type of structure to raise their young, according to the Humane Society of the United States. Since so many trees have been cut down for real estate development, chimney swifts choose a similar structure such as your chimney as a nesting spot.
What can I do to make sharing my home with chimney swifts more tolerable for my family?
These baby birds can make very loud chirping sounds when they are being fed. However, you will only have to deal with this noise for two weeks, at the longest. If the sounds become unbearable, Ashbusters recommends that you place a blanket over your fireplace opening to muffle the noise. Chimney swifts actually can be helpful houseguests as the average family of these birds can eat as many as 12,000 flying insects every day! You will likely forget that they are even there, and the entire family will leave on their own in the fall to return to Peru for the winter.
How can Ashbusters help me with chimney swifts?
As mentioned earlier, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act keeps us from doing anything to chimney swifts until they leave on their own. Once the birds have left your chimney, you should give us a call to schedule your annual chimney sweeping. We will remove all of the nesting materials that were left behind. After we have swept and inspected your chimney, we can prevent the birds from returning next year by installing a new chimney cap on the top of your chimney. This is a very important step because these birds tend to return to the same nesting spot in the spring.
If you have a family of chimney swifts living in your chimney, Ashbusters can help you keep this from happening again in the future. Contact us today to learn more about ways to deal with these birds. We are here for all of your professional chimney maintenance, repair, and installation needs!