One of the first signs of spring is the sound of birds singing. This means that migratory birds are returning from their winter homes in warmer climates. You typically will hear the chirping sounds from the trees outside of your home. However, there is always a chance that you could hear them coming from your fireplace and chimney. Ashbusters knows about this possibility. How? Every spring, we get calls from our customers asking for our help with getting birds out of their chimneys!
Quite often, the birds are chimney swifts. These birds are commonly found in the Charleston area during the spring and summer seasons. Since chimney swifts are protected by federal law under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, we are unable to remove them or their nests from chimneys. Having said that, we do know how to keep these birds from returning to their chimneys in the future. We would like to tell you more about chimney swifts. In addition, how we can help you prevent them from nesting inside your chimney.
What are chimney swifts and why are they nesting in my chimney?
With their cigar-shaped bodies, chimney swifts are easily recognizable. These birds begin returning to the Eastern United States from their winter homes in Peru at the start of the spring season. Unfortunately, many of the long, hollow trees in which chimney swifts prefer to nest have been cut down for construction and development purposes. This is why these birds will often mistake chimneys for trees.
What can I do if a family of chimney swifts has nested inside my chimney?
Since chimney swifts are one of the species protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, it is illegal to remove them from their nesting spots. This is why Ashbusters cannot help you with getting them out of your chimney. You will have to wait for them to leave on their own in the late fall when they return to their South American winter home. Sharing your home with chimney swifts is not as bad as it may seem. In one day, one family can eat over 12,000 flies, gnats, mosquitoes, and other flying insects!
Although chimney swifts are beneficial in keeping your home bug-free, the chirping sounds of the baby birds can be very loud and annoying. Also, their nests may also cause problems. Not only do the nests harbor parasites that may invade your house, but the materials used to build the nests are very flammable. After the birds have left for the winter, we can remove any nesting materials that have been left behind. Thus preventing a potential dangerous fire hazard inside your chimney.
How can I keep chimney swifts from moving into my chimney?
What is the best way of preventing chimney swifts from getting inside your chimney? Have a chimney cap professionally installed on the top of the chimney. Be sure that the chimney cap is equipped with metal meshing on the sides that will keep out birds, as well as squirrels, raccoons, and other wild animals. Ashbusters can help you pick out the best cap for your chimney. Plus, one of our Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney technicians will professionally install the chimney cap. This is to ensure it fits properly for the best protection from bird and wild animal invasions.
A good quality chimney cap not only keeps out birds and wild animals! It also protects your chimney from water penetration, prevents hot sparks from jumping out of the chimney, and even improves chimney draft. Contact us at Ashbusters to learn more about our professional chimney cap services.