Don’t be fooled by their cuteness! These pesky birds love making nests in chimneys (hints the name). Chimney swifts are slender birds that fly fast and are dark brown or gray in color. They’re known to nest in enclosed areas including chimneys, air vents, hollow trees, wells, and caves.
Unfortunately, it’s chimney swift season. Chimneys that are uncovered are at risk of these birds making it their new home. Once the babies hatch, if you notice loud screeching sounds – you’re chimney has become invested!
While you’re adjusting to your new roommate, these birds aren’t all bad. They’re known to eat about 12,000 insects per day. These include mosquitoes, gnats, termites, and flies. So if you have a bug problem maybe your new roomie isn’t so bad after all. But all jokes aside, the racket created by these birds, especially in a metal flue, can be deafening.
Don’t try to get rid of the nest yourself!! Chimney swifts are protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act and their nest can’t be removed until their babies have grown up and left. Although it may be a bummer to listen to those chirps, make sure your damper is completely closed. It will lessen the sounds and if the nest accidentally falls it will prevent the young from falling into the firebox. If there is a chance the young birds fall into your fireplace, contact your local wildlife authorities immediately. You can also muffin the noise by using insulating materials.
Once the birds and young have left the chimney, take immediate action in preventing their return. These birds are known to return to the same nesting site year after year. Contact your local chimney company and have them first inspect your chimney and then install or repair your chimney cap. Chimney caps prevent bugs, debris, and animals from entering your flue.
Give us a call for more information (703) 836-7858.