The return of warm weather means birds, bugs, and other animals are searching out places to nest and raise their young. To them, your chimney is an attractive home. Birds, especially swifts, starlings, swallows, and even some ducks, commonly build nests inside chimneys.

Birds that have mistakenly ended up in your fireplace or chimney can be a stressful situation. Not only is it stressful for you but it is also very alarming for the bird as well. Sometimes birds who are resting or nesting on top of the chimney occasionally wander inside, leaving themselves helpless and unable to fly back up to escape. Saving the bird may take some time; being quiet and patient during the process will help coax the bird where you want it to go so you can get it out of the house, back outdoors, safe and happy once again.

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Look inside the fireplace to locate the bird. If the bird is in the chimney rather than the fireplace, open the fireplace damper. This will allow the bird to fly back up the chimney and safely escape.

If the bird happens to already be in the fireplace, close all doors in the room. If halls and entryways do not have doors, cover the openings with sheets held in place with thumbtacks. Open one window and screen or an exterior door, in case the bird gets into the room.

Once you have taken care of all the opening/exits in the room, open the fireplace screen or door slightly. Gradually throw a towel over the bird to trap it. Grab the ends of the towel to trap the bird inside the towel. Carry the towel gently outdoors then proceed to release the bird.

In the future you can prevent any birds, insects or animals from entering your chimney and home is by installing a chimney cap and ensuring you have a fully functioning damper. A damper is a door at the top of your chimney that when you pull a handle in your fireplace, the door at the top closes. This seals your chimney and gives it an air tight seal. During the winter when you want a fire, simply open the damper with the handle in the fireplace. A chimney cap keeps birds, bats, squirrels, raccoons, and other animals out of your chimney when the damper is open. The lid of the chimney cap also prevents rain water from coming down into your chimney.