When spring rolls around, you may no longer be thinking of cozy fires in the fireplace to take away the chill of winter. Rather, you’re looking forward to warmer temperatures and spending more time outdoors. However, this is also the time of year when chimney swifts begin nesting in chimneys. Chimney swifts are small birds with thin dark gray-brown bodies, narrow, curved wings and a tapered tail, according to All About Birds. This type of bird spends most of its days airborne but when it needs rest, it cannot perch so it has to cling to vertical walls within caves and chimneys.
Many homeowners hear noises in their chimney and aren’t sure what kinds of birds they are. They may assume they are bats or other animals nesting inside the chimney. It’s important to have them removed as quickly and as humanely as possible to ensure the proper function of your chimney and ensure you don’t experience droppings from these birds into the fireplace, which can carry disease. Chimney Pro will come out to your Centre AL property and do an inspection of the situation, removing the nests, cleaning the area and capping it off to prevent future incidents.
The Humane Society encourages the practice of chimney capping to prevent conflicts with other species. They also advise calling in a chimney sweep once a year to remove nests after the young have left them for the season. Chimney sweeps know to be on the lookout for small cup-shaped structures made of small twigs attached to the chimney wall with saliva. Although they don’t pose a fire hazard (they are way too small), the nests should be removed for two reasons: this practice gets rid of bird parasites and the nest itself, which could become the home of returning swifts later on. However, they get far too unstable to support a whole new season of nesting and could fall.
Certified, professional chimney sweeps like Chimney Pro know that swifts are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which protects this species and many more. Violating the act by knowingly destroying the birds or nests containing eggs can result in a fine or penalty. Capping your chimney prevents nesting as well as perching. With so many newer homes being built with smaller metal flue pipes as opposed to clay liners, animals and birds can’t properly grip the metal and could plunge into the fireplace. This is a whole other type of situation that you don’t want to deal with as a homeowner!
Chimney swifts aren’t the only animals that can invade your chimney for solace from the elements and predators. Bats, too, can take up residence, as chimneys resemble caves in many ways. While bats won’t hurt you if left alone, they can cause health problems from their guano. Never start a fire in your fireplace if you suspect bats are up there. This will only serve to scare them and drive them down the chimney and into your home. Again, capping and netting will prevent bats from getting in there in the first place, but if it’s too late and you already notice these critters, call in a chimney sweep for removal. Same goes for squirrels, mice, and other critters that may find their way into your chimney. Attempting to drive them out on your own could result in injury and potential for more damage when the critters feel they have no other choice but to invade the living space to protect themselves.
If you have bats in the chimney, a bird in the fireplace or any other type of animals in the chimney, call the professionals at Chimney Pro in Centre AL for an effective, humane solution. We service all of Northeast Alabama, including Scottsboro AL, Rainsville AL, and Centre AL. Give us a call at (256) 845-9814 or fill out our convenient online contact form.