Five Things That You Need To Know About Chimney Swifts

When my husband and I purchased our first home, the process was stressful, but we settled on one we liked enough to live in temporarily until we expanded our family. When moving time arrived, we both dreaded the expected stress. We ended up using a different real estate agent than we did the first time, and we made a great decision, because she had a lot of home remodeling knowledge! We were adamant on finally finding our "perfect" home this time. When she showed us homes that lacked features we desired that we would have "nixed" before, she let us know if the feature could be added, and usually it could! We are now in our new home that we had a few small renovations performed on after we bought it, and we love it! I want to help others by sharing some remodeling tips I learned on a blog!

Five Things That You Need To Know About Chimney Swifts

22 July 2016
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


Chimney swifts are one of the many types of wildlife that may take refuge in your chimney. Their main purpose for invading your chimney is to nest. Following are five things that you need to know if your chimney is providing a home for a nesting pair of chimney swifts and their feathered families. 

They Can't Perch 

If you have ever wondered why chimney swifts don't simply build their nests in tree branches and other horizontal surfaces like other birds, it's because chimney swifts lack the ability to perch. Their normal nesting sites are on the vertical walls of hollow trees, caves, and in relatively modern times, chimneys. As humans have encroached on their habitat and leaving less nesting places, they've adapted by building their nests in our chimneys. Modern chimneys lined with metal can pose serious, often fatal hazards for these birds because the surface of metal is too slippery for the birds to hold onto. 

They're a Protected Species 

Because chimney swifts are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, homeowners, chimney care professionals, and all others are prohibited by law from harming these birds or disturbing their nests. What this means for the homeowner is that if a pair of nesting swifts have taken up residence in their chimneys, they do not have the option of shooing the birds away or installing a chimney cap so that the parent birds can't return. However, you can ask your local fireplace cleaning and maintenance service to install a chimney cap before or after nesting season. 

They Winter Over in South America As a migratory bird, chimney swifts don't stay in North America on a year-round basis -- they follow the warm weather to South America in the fall and return in the spring. You'll never have to worry about them trying to overwinter in your chimney. 

A Chimney Cap Will Keep Them Out 

A properly installed chimney cap keeps chimney swifts from building their nests in chimneys. A good time to have one installed is immediately following your annual or semi-annual chimney cleaning. Keep in mind that even if you have no problem with the idea of hosting a chimney swift family for the season, you should cap the chimney anyway if it has metal interior siding. 

You Can Have Nesting Towers Installed on Your Property 

Some homeowners are having nesting towers for chimney swifts installed on their property in order to help their feathered friends regain lost habitat, while others choose to support conservation efforts of nonprofit organizations dedicated to the preservation of this species.

For more information or assistance, contact companies like Alpine Fireplaces.