Birds are attracted to open chimneys because they serve as decent substitutes for their natural roosting sites inside hollow trees and rock crevices. However, many modern chimneys have metal flue pipes that do not provide any convenient places for the birds to perch, which causes them to fall and become stuck. Young birds that are unable to fly are particularly susceptible to getting trapped in chimneys, though adult birds are also rendered immobile if they are injured during the fall or the chimney is especially narrow.
Signs of a Bird in the Chimney
A bird stuck in the chimney will struggle to get out, often chirping, rustling about, and making scratching sounds that alert homeowners to their presence. Additionally, if flues are open when accidents occur, home residents will be able to see the birds fall into the fireplace. Nests of baby birds inside chimneys will make audible rackets of chirping sounds as the hatchlings call to their mother. Finally, homeowners may be alerted to birds stuck in chimneys by the foul smells produced by excrement or, in worst case scenarios, dead and decaying bodies.
Dangers of Disease
Having birds stuck in chimneys can be hazardous to the residents of the home. Nesting birds leave their droppings at the base of the chimney, which contributes to the spread of histoplasmosis. Birds also carry secondary pests, such as ticks, mites, and other parasites, that affect humans and household pets.
Removal from Chimney
Inexperienced homeowners should never attempt to remove a stuck bird or active nest on their own. If a bird gets stuck in the chimney or a nest is discovered, contact a professional wildlife control service like Critter Control to remove the animals and sanitize the affected area.