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What can I do about the birds in my chimney?

The chimney swift, a colony bird from South America, spends the summer in your chimney nesting, raising their young and getting ready for the long flight back to the forests of Peru. They are protected by the migratory bird act.

Most people notice them when they are already a couple of weeks old and they start up their squeaky, high- pitched chorus at feeding time. Chimney Swifts on average eat several times their weight in flying bugs such as mosquitos.

Being a colony bird, they will return to the same chimney they hatched in each year. We start seeing the birds in this area mid to late April. They stay until early September and are usually gone by the first cold snap. We wait until the birds are gone before we put on a cap. These birds can have 1-2 nestings a year depending on weather and other factors. The hatching period usually lasts 4-5 weeks with a 1-2 week period between hatchings.

We recommend cleaning the chimney to remove the bird debris and any flammable material that may be in the chimney area. Next step is to install a stainless steel chimney cap. This will prevent birds, squirrels and other animals from entering the chimney along with rain and leaves. From then on your bird and small animal problem is solved.

How often should my chimney be cleaned?

The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) recommends a yearly inspection and cleaning and repairs done as necessary.

Free standing wood stoves or fire place inserts

Free standing wood stoves or fire place inserts used to heat the home should be inspected and cleaned every year.

Regular open fireplaces

Regular open fireplaces need to be maintained and cleaned on a consistent basis as well. Usually a cleaning is needed for every cord of wood burned or at least every 2-3 years.