Chimney Swifts and Your Chimney


The Memphis area is known for having a variety of wildlife, including many species of migratory birds. One species in particular can be a nuisance to homeowners – the chimney swift.

Chimney swifts spend their winters in Mexico and South America, but return to the United States each summer for the nesting season. While these birds can be fun to observe, they prefer to nest in chimneys. This can damage your chimney, cause performance problems, and create safety issues.

How to Recognize Chimney Swifts

Chimney Swifts and Your Chimney - Memphis TN - Coopertown ServicesEven amateur bird spotters can recognize chimney swifts due to their distinctive characteristics:

– Color: Chimney swifts can be brown or a dull grey. They may also appear black when backlit against the sky.
– Movement: Swifts rarely land. Unless they are in their nests, they are almost always in flight. They make sudden twists and turns in the air that create a jerky flight pattern.
– Size: Chimney swifts are extremely small, typically around four inches long. They have “cigar shaped” bodies with long, pointed wings.
– Sound: Swifts do not have a song bird’s warble. Instead, they have a high-pitched chirp which they use to call to other swifts when flying.

While chimney swifts originally nested in hollow trees, the destruction of many wooded areas led to their preferred nesting in chimneys, and their name. Swifts build their nests vertically along the walls of the chimney and are one of the few species that can successfully navigate the narrow and twisting flue.

I Think I Have Swifts in my Chimney – Now What?

If you have birds in your chimney, it is important to call wildlife removal professionals. They can help you evaluate what kind of birds are in your chimney and how to best remove them. Chimney swifts along with several other species of migratory birds are protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

This federal law states that the nests of migratory birds cannot be tampered with or removed during their nesting cycle. For chimney swifts, the nesting cycle lasts about six weeks. Once the hatchlings have left the nest, the nests can be removed and repairs can be made.

Preventing Chimney Swifts From Returning

Chimney swifts are migratory birds and will attempt to return to the same nesting ground each year. Therefore, it is extremely important identify and repair the point of entry the chimney swifts used to prevent them from returning.

At Coopertown Services, our animals removal experts spend an average of 10-12 hours inspecting and securing a home against future animal entry. Using steel mesh, stainless steel screws, and metal, our technicians can identify even the smallest holes and gaps and repair them. Our work includes a one year guarantee against animal entry that our customers can renew year after year.

Chimney swifts are a beautiful migratory bird, but that does not mean homeowners want them in their chimneys. If you think you have swifts in your chimney, it is important not to disturb the nests until the hatchlings have left. Schedule an appointment today for help identifying the birds in your chimney and to create a plan of action for how to repair they chimney when they leave.



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