This isn’t a particularly nice scenario for you or the bird, is it? But, unfortunately, if your home has a chimney, you may well experience the plight of at least one feathered friend.
This happens most often in the summer when the heat disorientates birds, or they become dazzled by the sound. Unfortunately, if that results in them falling into your chimney, it can be very difficult to get them out. The good news is that you can normally do so without hurting the poor little thing. You just might need a bit of help.
How can I tell if there’s a bird stuck in my chimney?
This depends very much on the type of chimney you have. Sometimes, it’ll be obvious that a bird is stuck in there, but it can also be very difficult to tell if your hunch is correct. For instance, if you have an open fire with an older chimney, you’ll probably spot crumbling bits of mortar falling down. This might be accompanied by a scratching sound, which is usually a good indication that a bird is in there, somewhere. Woodburning stove owners are less likely to receive such obvious indications that something is wrong. This is because birds usually get stuck above the baffle plate – an area you simply can’t see with the naked eye.
If your home has a blocked up chimney, you’ll probably hear scratching noises, much like those experienced by people who have open fires. However, sometimes, it really isn’t clear whether or not there’s a bird up there. Unfortunately, if that’s the case and the bird ultimately meets its untimely end, the only giveaway will be a rather unpleasant smell a few weeks later. So, it’s definitely worth asking for help if you have even the slightest suspicion that a bird might be up there.
How to get a bird out of your chimney
If you think a bird is stuck in your chimney, it’s best not to attempt to remove it yourself. Chimneys aren’t made for DIY bird removal tasks and are best investigated thoroughly by an expert.
If you call on the services of an experienced chimney sweep, they’ll first attempt to encourage the bird onto the top of a long brush, thus enabling it to be lifted up and out of the pot safely. If that doesn’t work, a slightly smaller brush can be used to dislodge the bird and allow it to gently fall further down until it can be grabbed, cleaned up, and released. For birds that really don’t want to come out easily, camera systems can be deployed in order to work out exactly where they’re hiding.
How to stop birds from getting into your chimney
There’s only really one preventative measure you can take to prevent birds from falling into your chimney. The best way is to fit a cowl onto your working chimney. If it’s disused, you can attach a cap to the top (this would always be our recommendation in that circumstance). Chances are, you’ll have more disused chimneys in your house than those that are working, and they’re unfortunately the most common for birds to fall victim to.
If you think you’ve got a bird stuck in your chimney and would like an experienced sweep to take a proper look from you, then just get in touch with the SweepSmart team, today.