Keep the Sweeps – Ditch the Swifts
Posted Jul 10, 2023 in Chimneys
You might have seen them around. Small and cigar shaped, darting in between homes or around tree branches constantly hunting for their next meal. Matter of fact, that’s the only place you’ve probably seen them since they spend the majority of their lives in flight. Unless you’re one of the unlucky homes that a Chimney Swift has decided to nest in.
Chimney swifts have been around for centuries. They normally rest in hollow trees and caves, areas that provide protection but still leave an escape route. When their natural habitats started to disappear in place of residential developments and agricultural landscapes, they chose their next best option, chimneys. It may seem odd, but Chimney Swifts are among a handful of bird species that can’t perch meaning they need to build their nests against a surface they can grip with their talons. Brick and mortar chimneys provided an excellent substitute to their traditional wood and rock homes.
There’s really only one safe way to prevent these birds from nesting inside of your chimney. A tightly secured and fitted chimney cap. Since they’re a federally protected species, once they’ve decided to call your chimney home it’s illegal to remove, damage, or destroy them and their nests. Once they’re in, they’re in. Metal flue linings are another option, but without being paired with a cap can cause more harm than good. The swifts may still try and nest in your chimney without a safe space to grab onto, leading to an injured bird in your chimney which is an even greater hassle.
If a swift does nest in your chimney, there is some good news. They’re nesting cycles are on the shorter side, normally about six weeks. So, they’ll be out with enough time to get your chimney cleaned and ready for use when winter rolls around. But, like many migratory birds, your new roommates like to nest in the same place when they return each season. So, if you notice swifts one summer, it’s best to get a chimney cap to prevent them from coming back the following year.
Swifts can be nuisance to deal with. They can bring in diseases and cause damage to your chimney. Prevent them, and other critters, from entering your chimney by calling Safeway Chimney Sweeps. Get a brand-new cap put on your chimney along with a full cleaning and inspection. Keep the sweeps in and the swifts out.