What to Do About Birds Nesting in Chimneys

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April 19, 2016
Categories: Bird Removal, Birds

Spring is in full swing in Maryland! And you’ve probably seen a bird or two near your home, picking up twigs from the ground for their new nests. But where are they taking those twigs? Knowing where your neighborhood birds are building their nests is more than a question of curiosity. You want to make sure birds don’t nest in your dryer vents, gutters or chimneys. And from our experience as a Maryland bird removal specialists, chimneys are in the top 3 of favorite places for birds to nest.

bird sitting on a gutter

Why Birds in Chimneys Are a Problem

The obvious thing to consider is that whatever birds use to build their nests is a fire hazard. These materials can easily ignite next time you start a fire. What’s the harm of a fire in a chimney, you ask? Well, chimneys are not designed to contain fire—their job is to direct smoke out of your house. Chimney fires are dangerous because they can reach high temperatures, damage the chimney and even spread to the roof and attic. So if you think there is already a bird nest in your chimney, it’s a good idea to have the chimney cleaned by a professional before the next use.

Sometimes, birds nesting in chimneys may become stuck. You can often tell a bird is stuck if it’s making constant loud noises or flapping its wings inside the chimney. One way to remove a stuck bird is to open the damper, open a window, close off the room and wait till the bird finds its way out. If it’s seriously stuck, you may need to call a professional to conduct an extraction like the below video shows:

Another problem with birds in your chimney is the noise. The chirping and scratching starts early in the morning and continues until sundown. And since birds are at the bottom of the chimney, the noise they make can be clearly heard in the house. If the fireplace is in your bedroom, expect to be rudely awaken in the wee hours. And, lastly, don’t forget that bird droppings are extremely unsanitary and can be a source of histoplasmosis, a dangerous lung disease.

How to Keep Birds Out of the Chimney

Keeping birds out of your chimney is fairly easy. All you need is a quality chimney cap. Some older homes may be missing chimney caps entirely. And newer homes may have chimney caps that protect against larger wildlife like raccoons and squirrels. However, birds are rather small and can often get inside very small openings. And because a chimney cap has to vent, it must have some openings. You need a chimney cap that has mesh screens to protect from intruders like birds.

Sometimes we find that homeowners who already have chimney caps are not aware that the cap is damaged. Just because it’s made of metal, doesn’t mean it will last forever. The cap itself could have become rusted and failed. Or the concrete chimney crown around the cap could have cracked, crumbled and created an opening.

If you think you may have birds in your chimney, give Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control a call! We will investigate the problem and install the perfect chimney cap to keep the birds away.

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