Chimneys & birds nests

Updated: Jan 2, 2021

Why do birds nest in chimneys?

Birds are attracted by the warmth and shelter that chimneys provide and thus find them an ideal place to set up home!

This can lead to the chimney being completely blocked up which will prevent the appliance from working properly.

How can I tell if I have a birds nest?

There are some tell tale signs that birds may be nesting in your chimney:

  • Twigs and other unexpected debris dropping down the chimney

  • Lots of activity around the chimney pot, with birds flying back and forth with nest material

  • If you normally hear outside noises from your chimney and these unexpectedly stop

  • Flies and maggots at the bottom of the chimney (this could be a sign of a deceased bird or failed nest)

What should I do if I suspect I have a birds nest?

If there is an active nest in the chimney, it must be left and fires not lit until they vacate their nests. This is for your safety regarding the risk of chimney fires as well as it being an offence to intentionally take, damage or destroy any active wild bird's nest in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Ignoring this could result in an unlimited fine, up to six months imprisonment or even both!

Once the nest has been vacated, usually around the end of August, then you will need to get the nest removed.

Can chimney sweeps remove birds nests?

The simple answer is yes.

From the end of nesting season, we usually have a high number of calls requesting that a birds nest is removed.

Specialist equipment is used to safely remove all of the nest material. This can be incredibly time consuming with lots of debris removed.

We would recommend that a cctv inspection is completed following the nest removal to ensure that all of the nest has been safely removed from the flue.

A smoke evacuation test would then be carried out to confirm there is a sufficient draw for the chimney.

How do I prevent birds nesting in my chimney?

Once the nest has been removed you may want to consider future prevention.

The ideal solution would be to have a bird guard fitted to the top of the chimney pot. This should stop the unwanted tenants from returning year on year.

If you need a bird's nest removing then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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