If you live in Portland, 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.


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 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. And yes, before you ask, they will return, as just like the Chapman Swifts they nest in the same place every year.


So how can you safely rid yourself of this noisy bird without breaking the law? Well, first the bad news: You will have to wait until they leave and migrate back to South America. The good news, if it hasn’t happened already, it will happen very soon. Once summer is over, so is their time in the Northern Hemisphere. Just in time for you to light that fire in the fireplace.


Start with getting your chimney inspected and cleaned to get rid of any debris from nests left behind. Once that has been completed, look at installing a proper chimney cap on your chimney. Not only will this keep out birds and other animals, it will also act as a spark arrestor and keep out rain, leaves and other debris which could cause a blockage. Installing a damper will put the ultimate stop to just about anything getting down the chimney. It’s best to do all that is needed while the crew is working on the unit. Only when you seal up the chimney when it’s not in use will you be able to totally keep out the Chimney Swifts and other animals that like the dark walls of a chimney to lay their eggs every year. Now, if you don’t feel quite right about closing up the home to chimney swifts visit this website to learn how to build a simple Swift Tower!



Portland Chimney Repair – Service Area

Located right here in Portland, Oregon, our chimney sweep technicians provide the best in chimney services, fireplace installation and chimney inspections in the Portland-Metro area. From NE Portland down to SE Portland, 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! We are the most trusted Portland Chimney Repair company!

Chimney Sweep Portland, Oregon