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A normal sign of warm weather is hearing birds chirping and singing; however, if you are hearing these sounds coming from your fireplace, it may not seem exactly normal. You most likely have a family of birds nesting in your chimney. However, several species of birds in our area are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which makes it illegal to remove them from your chimney. They will leave on their own in the fall, but these birds will return again the following spring to your chimney. American Chimney & Masonry in Portland has found that the best way to protect your chimney from migratory birds residing within the flue is to have a chimney cap professionally installed on top of your chimney. Consider us Portland’s chimney flue bird removal service! We would like to tell you a bit more about these birds and how a chimney cap can keep them out of your chimney.

What exactly are migratory birds?Migratory Birds - Portland OR - American Chimney

According to the United States Department of Defense Partners in Flight, migratory birds are species of birds that travel through parts of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Russia, or Japan during their course of migration. These birds are protected by federal law because they are at risk because they are not adequately protected during the nesting season or while on their way to and from their breeding grounds. Some of the most commonly found migratory birds in Portland, Oregon include ospreys, Rufous hummingbirds, and black-chinned hummingbirds. The problem with these birds nesting within your chimney is that their nests can become dangerous fire hazards within your chimney. These bird nests also harbor parasites that could invade your home. Our certified Portland chimney sweeps at American Chimney & Masonry can remove any nesting materials from your chimney after the birds have left in the fall.

How does a chimney cap protect my chimney from these birds returning?

Chimney caps are equipped with meshing on the sides that will keep birds and other wild animals like squirrels and raccoons from being able to get into your chimney. Consider a chimney cap as inexpensive bird removal service – it keeps birds out in the first place!

The Magic of The Swifts

If you live in Portland, Oregon, you are probably familiar with the famous Chimney Swifts (aka Vaux Swifts) that emerge around dusk for numerous days in the early fall, congregating in a massive flock around the old chimney at Chapman Elementary, and then through the subtle magic of ornithological communication, stream down the flue all at once. It is a major Fall event here in Portland and hundreds of people show up at the school before dusk, bringing picnics, playing games, playing music, dancing, until the flock appears. And then a hushed wonder descends, interrupted only by gasps and oohs and aahs as the swirling shape of the flock grows larger and wilder in the sky. It is a simple and beautiful ritual with which to begin the fall.

How to Remove Chimney Swifts?

What is slightly less wondrous and magical is when these birds have made their home in your chimney! The constant chirping throughout summer and fall months is enough to turn some folks into potential bird-killers! We get it, peace and sanity are important. But before you do anything rash, please remember that these birds are protected species in the United states, and intentionally killing or harming them can carry stiff penalties – up to a $15,000 fine and/or 6 months in jail… per egg, nestling, and bird! Destroying a chimney swift nest could be financial ruin. Therefore, it is time to make peace with the birds and find a way to keep them out next year with a new chimney cap. And yes, before you ask, they will return, as just like the Chapman Swifts they nest in the same place every year.

What are the other advantages of a chimney cap?

The least expensive prevention device against water penetration of your chimney, a chimney cap keeps water from rain and melted snow out of the interior of your chimney. The mesh siding of chimney caps also serve as spark arrestors, which prevents a hot spark from jumping out of your chimney to possibly ignite a fire on your roof, your neighbor’s roof, and your yard. Chimney caps can also help you deal with draft issues if you live in a windy area.

See Birds & Animals Nesting in Your Chimney

What types of chimney caps does American Chimney & Masonry sell and install?

Our certified Portland chimney repair technicians can recommend the perfect chimney cap for your situation. We offer special chimney caps for large chimneys, copper chimney caps that will last a lifetime, and wind-directional and draft-inducing chimney caps. Our certified technicians will professionally install the cap to ensure you are best protected from migratory birds, other animals, and water penetration.

If you need help dealing with migratory birds, contact American Chimney & Masonry. We can find the perfect chimney cap to solve this problem for you.

Our Portland Service Area

Located right here in Portland, Oregon, our chimney sweep technicians provide the best in chimney cleaning, fireplace installation and dryer vent care in the Greater Portland-Metro area. From North Portland down to Tualatin and Oregon City in the south, from Pleasant Valley in the east to Beaverton and Sherwood in the west – when it comes to your chimney, fireplace and vents, we hope you’ll call American Chimney & Masonry!

Ready To Make An Appointment?

To schedule an appointment with one of our expert technicians, please call 503-644-0393 or fill out our online scheduling form. With over 19,000 satisfied customers since 1989, we are ready for more! We look forward to visiting with you soon about your fireplace and chimney sweep needs.