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Finding Birds in Your Chimney

You may hear some noises or, more tellingly, you find droppings from your chimney and wonder what’s causing them. If you hear or see birds in your chimney, they are most likely trying to build a nest. If these birds are “chimney swifts”, they will have no problem leaving your chimney. Some birds, such as European Starlings, can be found most of the time in small spaces in buildings that would provide them warmth. However, it is possible to find larger birds, such as barn owls and wood ducks, in your chimney and as you can imagine, these larger birds will sound much different than a nest full of starlings.  Yet, one can never know exactly what type of bird may be climbing in and out of their chimney without visual confirmation and, for many, they do not have the ability to do so. Fear not! This is where WNY Wildlife & Exclusion comes in to save the day—and our feathered friends. 

Tips When Trying to Remove Birds 

When trying to get birds out of your chimney, you can try turning off all your lights, leaving a door open, and opening the flute, if you have a traditional chimney. This makes it so the bird can see the light from outside and hopefully try to leave the chimney. Another way to assist the bird is by using a box and a towel, if the bird is within reach. Now, if the bird has migrated into the upper part of the chimney, you may need further assistance.  

Steps To Remove the Bird 

There is a multitude of steps to take when wanting to safely and properly remove any birds from your chimney. Keep in mind that you should never touch a bird with your bare hands. The following items are needed for this bird removal process: 

  • A cardboard box 
  • A piece of straight cardboard 
  • A towel 
  • A flashlight 

When using the box method, here are the steps you are going to want to take: 

  • Position the box: Make sure there are no gaps, and the box fits perfectly into the chimney. 
  • Turn on your flashlight: This helps guide the bird outside. 
  • Keep quiet: Birds become startled when there is too much noise, to get the bird to go into the box, it needs to be completely silent. 
  • Trap the bird: Once the bird has entered the box you can slowly step outside to release it. 

Now if you are wanting to use the towel method, the bird must be within reach. You can also use a broom to help guide the bird out a door or window if it ends up leaving the fireplace. Using a broom is not necessary but it makes the process much easier.  

You will need to toss the towel over the bird, pick up the bird while the towel is over it and take it outside. When you get outside you can unwrap the bird and it should fly away. If somehow you have issues with the bird coming out of the towel you can use the broom method to guide it outside.  

Preventing Birds in Your Chimney in the Future   

There are a few ways you can take action to deter birds from going into your chimney in the future:  

  • Chimney sweep: Once all animals are removed, perform a chimney sweep. Performing a chimney sweep will remove any debris, soot, and anything left behind by the birds residing there before. 
  • Chimney cap: Not only does a chimney cap keep birds away, but it also stops rain from going into your chimney.  
  • Bird spikes: Using bird spikes makes it incredibly difficult for birds to make their way into your chimney.  

Not only can WNY Wildlife & Exclusion help you with the removal of birds from your chimney, but they can also help you assess your property to protect it from any infestation. If you find yourself in need of bird removal or would like to take preventative measures, WNY Wildlife is here for you, (716) 203-1166.  

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