• The Chimney Swifts Are Coming To Town!

    The Chimney Swifts Are Coming To Town!

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    Chimney swift sightings are happening all over North America as these fast-moving “flying cigar” birds migrate back north for the summer. They will soon be coming to your neighborood! Here is some helpful information and video links about chimney swifts.

    • Two chimney swifts and their offspring will consume about 12,000 flying mosquitoes, gnats, terminates, biting flies, etc.
    • Only one active nest should be in a chimney, hollow tree or other structure at one time although some nesting families permit non-nesters to occupy their home.
    • The loudest noise comes from the babies when they are being fed. In about 2 weeks from this onset, they leave the nest to fend for themselves. Click here to see the parents feeding their young.
    • Chimney swifts build their nest by attaching small twigs to the chimney with their “glue-like” saliva (click here to see a video). The nests typically hold 1-5 eggs. Check here to see the nest building in action.
    • Unlike other birds, chimney swifts do not sit on perches but cling to vertical walls, like a chimney, with their long claws. They also bathe and drink “on the wing” by dipping into the water.
    • The shallow 1/2 cup nest protrudes about 2-3″ from the chimney wall.
    • Chimney swifts are protected under Federal Law by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and cannot be removed once they are nesting in the chimney.

    Chimney swifts are beneficial to the environment and are fast losing their nesting habitat. If they end up in your chimney, be sure to wait until they leave on their own to have your chimney cleaned and capped.

    Posted by Karen Stickels Lamansky, author of Design Ideas for Fireplaces, published by Creative Homeowner Press.

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