Chimney swift

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.

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