How To Get Birds Out Of Your Chimney

If you hear fluttering, chirping, or other noises coming from your chimney, you likely have some uninvited feathered guests that have made their way inside. While birds in the chimney can be a nuisance, they can also pose some risks if they become trapped or build nests that clog the flue.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through all the steps you need to humanely remove birds from your chimney and prevent them from returning.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The best way to get birds out of a chimney is to install a chimney cap to keep them from entering, then work with a professional chimney sweep to safely remove any trapped birds and install deterrents like wire mesh and spikes.

Identify the Type of Birds in Your Chimney

Look for clues like feathers, droppings, or sounds

If you suspect that birds have taken up residence in your chimney, the first step is to identify the type of birds that may be present. Look for clues such as feathers, droppings, or sounds coming from your chimney.

Feathers can give you a clue about the size and coloration of the birds, while droppings can help you determine the species. Additionally, listen for any chirping or fluttering noises that may indicate the presence of birds.

Common chimney birds include swifts, starlings, sparrows, owls, and more

There are several types of birds that are commonly found in chimneys. Swifts, for example, are known for building their nests in chimneys and can be identified by their distinctive shape and rapid flight patterns.


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Starlings and sparrows are also common chimney birds and are often attracted to chimneys due to the warmth and protection they provide.

Furthermore, owls are known to take up residence in chimneys, especially in rural areas. These nocturnal creatures are skilled hunters and may choose a chimney as a convenient spot to nest. It is important to note that owls are protected species in many regions and should not be disturbed without proper authorization.

For a more comprehensive list of birds that may inhabit your chimney, consult resources such as the Audubon Society or your local birding community. They can provide valuable information on bird identification and behavior.

By identifying the type of birds in your chimney, you can better understand their nesting habits and take appropriate measures to safely remove them.

Remove the Birds Humanely

Never seal off the chimney with birds still inside

When dealing with birds in your chimney, it is crucial to handle the situation with care and ensure the birds are removed humanely. One of the most important things to remember is to never seal off the chimney while birds are still inside.

This can lead to distress, injury, or even death for the trapped birds. It is essential to avoid causing harm to wildlife and to handle the situation responsibly.

Hire a professional chimney sweep to remove the birds

If you are unsure about how to remove the birds from your chimney safely, it is highly recommended to hire a professional chimney sweep. These experts have the knowledge, experience, and proper tools to handle bird removal efficiently and without causing harm to the birds or your chimney.

A professional chimney sweep will assess the situation, determine the best course of action, and safely remove the birds from your chimney.

Use humane methods like one-way doors or deterrents

Another humane approach to remove birds from your chimney is by using methods such as one-way doors or deterrents. One-way doors are designed to allow birds to exit the chimney but prevent them from reentering.

These doors can be installed by professionals and are an effective way to remove birds without causing harm. Additionally, deterrents like bird spikes or ultrasonic devices can be used to discourage birds from nesting in your chimney in the first place.

Remember, it is important to prioritize the well-being of the birds while ensuring the safety of your chimney. By following these humane methods, you can effectively remove birds from your chimney without causing harm to the wildlife or your property.

Install a Chimney Cap

If you are dealing with birds nesting in your chimney, one of the most effective solutions is to install a chimney cap. Chimney caps are designed to prevent access from birds and other animals, keeping them out of your chimney and preventing blockages and potential damage.

Not only do they provide a barrier for birds, but they also offer protection against rain, snow, and debris.

Chimney caps prevent access from birds and other animals

Chimney caps are specifically designed with mesh screens or wire netting to keep birds and other creatures out. These screens have small openings that prevent birds from entering but still allow smoke and gases to escape.

By installing a chimney cap, you can effectively deter birds from entering your chimney and nesting inside.

Ensure proper airflow when selecting a cap

When selecting a chimney cap, it is crucial to consider the airflow. Poor airflow can lead to smoke and gases being trapped inside your home, which can be hazardous to your health. Look for chimney caps that provide adequate ventilation to ensure proper airflow while keeping birds out.

Hire a professional for proper installation

While some homeowners may attempt to install a chimney cap themselves, it is highly recommended to hire a professional for proper installation. A professional chimney sweep or contractor will have the necessary tools and expertise to ensure the cap is securely installed and functioning correctly.

They can also inspect the chimney for any existing damage or potential issues that may need to be addressed.

Add Deterrents

When it comes to getting birds out of your chimney, one effective approach is to add deterrents. By implementing these measures, you can discourage birds from entering and nesting in your chimney, ensuring it remains bird-free. Here are some helpful deterrent options to consider:

Use wire mesh to cover the flue opening

One of the most common and effective deterrents is to use wire mesh to cover the flue opening. This prevents birds from entering your chimney while still allowing smoke and gases to escape. The mesh should have small holes to prevent small birds from squeezing through.

By installing this barrier, you create a physical barrier that keeps birds out.

Install chimney spikes or other prickly deterrents

Another option to deter birds from your chimney is to install chimney spikes or other prickly deterrents. These devices make it uncomfortable for birds to land or perch on your chimney, discouraging them from staying in the area.

They can be easily attached to the top of the chimney and are a simple yet effective way to keep birds away.

Consider electronic deterrents like ultrasonic devices

If you prefer a more advanced approach, you might consider electronic deterrents like ultrasonic devices. These devices emit high-frequency sounds that are unpleasant to birds, causing them to avoid the area.

These devices are typically easy to install and can be programmed to operate during specific times of the day or night. However, it’s important to note that the effectiveness of these devices may vary depending on the species of birds in your area.

It’s important to remember that while deterrents can be effective, it’s always best to consult with professionals or local wildlife authorities before implementing any measures. They can provide you with specific recommendations based on your location and the type of birds you’re dealing with.

Clean the Chimney

Keeping your chimney clean is essential for preventing birds from nesting in it. A clean chimney not only discourages birds from making it their home but also ensures proper ventilation and prevents the buildup of dangerous creosote. Here are some steps to clean your chimney effectively:

Remove old nests and droppings

Before you begin cleaning the chimney, it’s important to remove any existing bird nests and droppings. Birds often build nests in chimneys during the nesting season, and if left unattended, these nests can block the flue and cause smoke and carbon monoxide to enter your home.

Use a chimney brush or a long-handled broom to carefully remove the nests and droppings. Make sure to wear protective gloves and a mask to avoid any potential health hazards.

A professional sweep can fully clean the chimney

While you can clean the chimney yourself, it’s recommended to hire a professional chimney sweep for a thorough cleaning. A professional sweep has the necessary equipment and expertise to remove any stubborn debris, soot, and creosote buildup effectively.

They will also inspect the chimney for any cracks or damages that may need repair. Hiring a professional ensures that your chimney is cleaned properly and reduces the risk of any potential fire hazards.

Clean the fireplace and flue yearly to discourage nesting

Regular maintenance is key to keeping birds out of your chimney. Clean the fireplace and flue at least once a year, preferably before the nesting season begins, to discourage birds from choosing your chimney as their nesting site.

Use a chimney brush or a vacuum specifically designed for chimney cleaning to remove any debris, soot, or creosote. Additionally, consider installing a chimney cap or screen to prevent birds from entering the chimney.


Birds can easily find their way down chimneys in search of nesting spots. However, professional sweeps have a variety of humane methods to remove the birds and their nests and prevent their return. Installing a chimney cap is the most effective way to keep birds out for good.

With some diligence, you can safely evict your feathered houseguests and keep them from getting into your chimney again.

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