A common problem homeowners have to face is different types of wildlife coming into their home and causing chaos, and animals in the chimney are no different. We often worry about burning habits that we forget to check for other things that could go wrong inside of the structure. However, having a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified company send in a technician to do a chimney sweep will give you an idea of what is in or has been in your chimney. The people at A-1 Chimney Specialist are ready to save the day when you give the call.
There is one bird in particular that is known for getting into chimneys referred to as a chimney swift. They are very small birds with slender bodies and long, narrow, curved wings. They have short tapered tails, a round head, and a wide but nearly invisible bill. They appear black at a distance but are actually dark gray-brown.
These birds like to make homes in chimneys and other vertical surfaces that are dim, such as air vents, trees, and wells. Even though they do have a specific spot for nesting, they are usually very short with time out of air as they are always flying. With their long claws, they are not able to perch like other birds, but can cling to walls. Chimney Swifts are also able to bathe while they are flying because they just grace the top of the water and rise up as they shake it off. They also eat airborne insects while flying, such as flies and bees. The birds have special sticky saliva to secure their nests to the walls of chimneys.
The oldest chimney swift on record was released in Ohio in 1970, but today they are near threatened. They have been declining over 2 percent per year for many decades. Part of the problem is that traditional brick chimneys are deteriorating and the modern style is not fit for nesting. Also, people are putting caps on their unused chimneys where the bird cannot get in. Depending on when a chimney sweep is administered, it can tear down an existing nest if the birds are in their nesting season. If you have a chimney swift nest in your chimney, you cannot get rid of it until after the young have left the nest. Chimney sweeps know not to do a sweep if they know that there are young in the structure as part of the Migratory Bird Act, as they can be fined or penalized.