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If you have heard chirping sounds coming from your chimney, it is very likely that you have a family of birds living inside your chimney flue. This situation is more common than you might think because of the large number of trees that are cut down for real estate development purposes. When looking for a safe spot for nesting, birds and other wild animals may mistake a chimney for a tall, hollow tree.

While you might think you can have these creatures removed from your chimney by trained professionals, certain species of birds are protected by federal law under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. In the Charleston area, one of the most common protected species of birds is the chimney swift. Ashbusters would like to tell you more about these birds and how we can help you keep them from getting inside your chimney.

What are chimney swifts?

chimney swiftChimney swifts are named for one of their most common habitats, and they are easily recognized for their sleek and small cigar-shaped bodies. According to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, these birds spend the winters in South American countries like Peru, Chile, and Brazil and return to North America during the spring season to mate. While chimney swifts have had problems building nests inside masonry chimneys with clay tile liners, metal chimney pipes and flue liners are difficult for these birds to grip, which has led to deaths for them as they fall into your fireplaces.

Although baby chimney swifts are quite noisy during the first several weeks of their lives, a family of these birds can eat up to 12,000 flies, mosquitoes, gnats, and flying insects each day. Since this species is protected by law, anyone who moves or destroys chimney swifts or their nests can be fined or penalized, according to The Humane Society of the United States. Ashbusters will never remove a family of chimney swifts from a chimney. However, since they do tend to return to the same nesting spot every year, we can help keep them from coming back to your chimney.

How can I keep chimney swifts from nesting inside my chimney?

Since it is illegal to move these birds, you simply have to wait for them to leave on their own. After they fly back to South America for the winter, you should call Ashbusters to schedule your annual professional chimney sweeping appointment. Our trained and certified professionals will remove any nesting materials that are left behind. To prevent these birds from moving into your home again next year, we install a new chimney cap on the top of the flue. This chimney component also keeps water out too.

Make sure your chimney is protected from chimney swifts and other birds and wild animals. Contact us today at Ashbusters to schedule your annual professional chimney maintenance appointment!