Chimney Swifts

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Best Cincinnati Chimney sees a lot of problems every year but one reoccurring problem is the presence of Chimney Swifts nesting in the chimneys.

Chimney Swifts are brown and gray birds known for their cigar-shaped bodies and wide, flat beaks. While their natural habitat is in trees, the destruction of forests has resulted in them having an affinity for chimneys as they are warm and protected from predators. These birds do not roost like most birds but they like to hang and they build their nests against ledges so a chimney is perfect for them. One definite sign that you have chimney swifts is the cry of their young hatchlings. They let off a high pitched screaming that sounds like a little girl screaming.

Why not just let them be?

Regardless of how much you love birds, you should ask a chimney professional to keep swifts out of your chimney. Besides the irritating sounds that they make, they also pose some dangers. One of the dangers is that of diseases. Due to their tendencies to travel long distances and even across continents they are exposed to many microorganisms that can cause diseases to you and your family.

Another reason why you should keep them out of your chimney is because they put your home at the risk of catching fire. When they construct nests, the nests block the chimney flue thus harmful gasses, and smoke doesn’t escape into the environment. This results to creosote getting deposited on the chimney walls. As you know, the more the creosote deposits, the higher the chances of your chimney catching fire. Also the nests themselves are flammable.

What do we do to get them out?

Many birds, including swifts, are protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The act states that it’s a federal offense to remove or damage the swift nests before the hatchlings have left. Once they are there, you have them for a life cycle. The good thing is that the birds have short life cycles where the time from nesting to the time that the hatchlings leave the nest is less than 6 weeks. After the six weeks, you should contact a chimney company to remove the nests and clean the entire chimney. We usually just wait them out and then seal them out.

Keeping them out

Swifts spend their winters in South American then migrate to North America in spring and summer. If you don’t take measures to prevent the birds from getting into your chimney they will come back during summer. One of the ways of ensuring that they don’t find their way into your chimney again installing a chimney cap. All you need to do is hire a chimney masonry repair professional to install it for you.  Since the birds are very small, ensure that you hire a professional who will install a unit that the birds can’t fit through. The smaller the mesh around the cap, the better.

In addition to installing chimney caps, you should also inspect the entire chimney and fix any holes that the birds can get through and remove all debris that they brought into the chimney.

Call Best Cincinnati Chimney for a complete cleaning and inspection today at 513-474-1158.