Why You Need A Chimney Bird Guard
So you have spent a large amount of savings on your dream open fire. You are sat on a cold winter’s evening, snuggled up with your hot chocolate admiring the new set up and WHAM! Down the chimney comes a crashing pile of sticks and rubble and WHOOSH! Into the room comes clouds of smoke and ash, ruining your new carpet and potentially sending your house up in flames.
Boy I wish I’d put that bird guard on top of my chimney!
The most common cause of blocked chimneys is the construction of a bird nest in the flue, and the Jackdaw is the most common bird to create such a nest.
The Jackdaw is a black plumaged bird in the crow family and they are found in both rural and urban areas. They build simple nests of sticks and twigs, lined with hair, rags, bark, soil, and many other materials. They build them in cavities in trees, cliffs or buildings and the crevice is often improved by dropping sticks into it; the nest is then built on top of the platform formed. This behaviour has led to the blocking of chimneys and has even resulted in nests crashing down into fireplaces, sometimes with birds still on them.
The nest can be removed by sweeping them out from the bottom, not from the top of the flue. Typically, the nest is constructed at the level of the top floor ceiling height, about 3 metres from the pot. If not removed, nests can absorb moisture and create damp patches on the chimney breast, as well as bad smells.
If you discover you have Jackdaws or other birds nesting in your chimney, you do need to be aware that wild birds, their eggs and young are protected by law. Any birds seen nesting in a chimney should be left alone. For advice on removing the birds, the RSPCA website can help
To avoid birds returning to the chimney the following year, ensure a chimney bird guard is fitted to the chimney once the nest has been removed.