The Jackdaw – a chimney sweeps arch nemesis
All sorts of birds like to sit and nest in chimneys. The warm air that emanates from the fireplace below mean that they are an extremely comfortable place for them to spend their time. Storks, blackbirds and pigeons are all commonly seen congregating on top of used and unused chimneys but there is one bird in particular that is renowned for its love of nesting in them; the jackdaw.
Jackdaw birds are part of the crow family and are found regularly all across the UK. They build their nests using various sizes of twigs and leaves, pushing these down into the chimney wedging them tight so that more twigs can be rested on top. Some twigs that are too small to fit the chimney fall further down the pipe and get jammed in narrower parts.
The tightness at which the twigs get jammed in the chimney pot mean that they are very difficult for most property owners to remove. This means that often a professional chimney sweep must be called. These will have to remove twigs and other debris from all the way down the chimney taking a lot of time and costing a lot of money. If there are young birds in the nest it is then illegal to get rid of the nest until they have left and the nest is no longer in use. This can be a real problem and can last for months on end.
How to tell if your chimney has a nest
Usually the best way to know if your chimney has a nest is if there is smoke coming back into the room in which you have lit the fire. This normally indicates that there is something blocking the pipe and quite often this will be a bird’s nest.
A more obvious way of guessing there is a bird’s nest in your chimney is if you can hear birds. Often they may just be sat on top but sometimes they may be building a nest or planning on building one.
If you are finding twigs and leaves falling into your fireplace then it is likely that they are being put there by a bird trying to build a nest. Like we said earlier, jackdaw birds push twigs down the chimney pot and when these twigs don’t fit, they will simply fall down the pipe and either get wedged further down or fall into the fireplace itself.
If you see birds moving back and forth from your chimney pot it is likely that they are starting to build a nest. The birds will be moving away to collect branches and leaves which they will then bring back to the chimney to build a nest with
How to prevent getting birds nesting in your chimney
The best way to prevent birds from nesting in your chimney is to completely stop them from gaining access to it. This can be done using wire balloons. These are often low cost and completely stop the risk of birds creating nests in your chimney. These can also go by the name of bird guards, chimney guards, chimney balloons and chimney cowells.
BS Fixings supply an elite range of stainless steel wire balloons at a price that offers unbeatable value. Made from galvanised steel these offer protection from nesting birds and come in a range of sizes to fit all chimneys.
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