Chimney sweeps are sweet on swifts

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(Screenshot from YouTube video posted April 9, 2013).


 

Chimney Swifts are a protected species. That means homeowners who find the animals in their chimneys and aren’t interested in hosting the birds cannot remove the birds themselves.

The Chimney Safety Institute of America and the National Chimney Sweep Guild have long encouraged all members to do right by our feathery, insect-eating friends, which make their return around this time of year from their winter home in South America. We are seeing more and more tweets about chimney swifts from around North America, which we’ve chronicled in this roundup.

That means they should abide by the Federal Migratory Bird Act and not disturb nor remove nesting Chimney Swifts. They should construct nesting towers (when possible), and educate homeowners about these beneficial birds.

Read more: The do’s and don’ts involving chimney swifts, by Paul Hempel, a longtime CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep and chimney swift advocate.

The rules are plain and simple. Don’t touch the birds, babies, eggs or an active nest. Don’t disturb them in any way when they are nesting or attempting to nest.

“Homeowners will notice them most when the ‘kids’ are in the nest, hatch, then start screaming for food, they’ll be crazy noisy for about two weeks. They generally aren’t there that long and will abandon the chimney. Then you can clean it and cap the chimney,” Paul said.  “I recommend it (capping) because, in my area, chimney swifts have introduced a mite similar to a bed bug.”

Only properly permitted and qualified professionals can relocate Swifts.

We encourage you to consult with your local CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep if you believe Swifts, or any animal for that matter, have taken up residence in your chimney.

Read more: What might be nesting in your chimney

Once the proper professionals have relocated the animals, your certified sweep can install a chimney cap to help prevent future critter visits.

Dave Lamb is owner and president of Nayaug Chimney Services LLC located in Glastonbury, CT, a company that employs CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps, has a great post on chimney swifts on his company’s website.

Read more: What is that Chirping Coming From My Chimney by Nayaug.

As Dave writes, “Ultimately, it may be nice to host family of Chimney Swifts, but if you are not comfortable with the little birds inhabiting your chimney, it takes only a minor addition to your chimney to solve the problem forever.”

Be safe and inspect to protect!


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