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.