Cities don’t really seem like a place that many animals would enjoy living in. However, many species have adapted to life in urban areas and may even live in the structures that we create for ourselves to live in. One animal that has done very well at adapting to life around humans is the chimney swift. Historically, chimney swifts built their nests inside dead, hollowed out trees. However, when humans started to settle within their home-range, chimneys mimicked hollowed out trees so well that chimney swifts often preferred them to natural nesting sites. This adaptation to urban life is great for chimney swifts because it means there are literally thousands of potential nesting locations for them within a single city. However, many homeowners would rather not house an animal in their chimney.

Chimney Swifts and Your Chimneychimney swift drawing

Having a little bird nest in your chimney may not seem like a big deal, but the fact is that chimney swifts can cause a number of issues. The main issue with chimney swift nests is that they can clog your chimney, which leads to issues with ventilation and airflow. Also, nesting material is flammable, which could lead to a chimney fire.

Chimney swifts hatchlings also make noise for the first few weeks of their lives. This can be a nuisance for some homeowners who would rather not listen to the constant peeping of baby birds. Even worse, some flues are made of clay or metal, which are materials that chimney swifts can’t grip as easily as masonry, meaning they can become trapped and perish inside your flue.

Removing Chimney Swifts

Chimney swifts are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, so removing their nests when they are occupied with eggs or hatchlings is against federal law. So, if a chimney swift builds a nest in your chimney, you may not remove it until the brood has hatched and all birds have abandoned the nest. This means that you may have to live with the nest for a couple of months throughout the spring and summer. If you try to remove an occupied nest it is punishable by fines or other penalties.

Preventing Chimney Swift Nesting

The best and easiest way to prevent chimney swifts from nesting in your chimney is to prevent them from getting into your chimney in the first place. This is done by making sure that you have a chimney cap installed on top of your chimney and that it is functioning correctly. This will prevent chimney swifts from getting in your chimney and making their nest there.

Springtime is a great time of year to make sure that your chimney is protected from chimney swifts. Act now before it is too late! Call Northeastern Masonry & Chimney at 518-767-9315 or visit us online and to schedule an appointment today to protect your home from chimney swifts!