It is estimated that there are around 18 million feral pigeons currently in the UK, often found in urbanised areas. As a species, they are able to breed up to six times a year which means you will come across nests in empty buildings, on roofs and in some cases, in chimneys. As a result, many birds will become stuck in the chimney flue, causing damage to properties and posing a risk to human health.
Who to call to get a bird out of a chimney
If a bird is stuck in your chimney, we would always recommend employing the help of a professional wildlife handling service. You can contact your local wildlife rescue service, who will be able to help and advise on the best course of action, or you can get in touch with your local fire brigade. The fire service is obliged to assist with the removal of any objects, debris or, in this case, animals that are blocking your chimney.
How to remove birds nest from a chimney
Removing bird nests in any setting is a tricky business due to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. This law protects birds and their nests and means that the removal or destruction of an active nest is illegal.
It is important first to ascertain whether or not a bird is still using the nest or if it is from the previous mating season. If the nest is no longer active and it is the end of the breeding season (end of July), you can start the removal process.
It is always recommended to hire a professional to carry out this process to ensure it is done safely and legally. Clearing a nest from a chimney is a labour and time-intensive job with a lot of debris that must be removed.
This can be done by puncturing the nest to loosen the materials such as twigs, feathers and leaves. Once the majority of debris has fallen through the chimney, a larger brush will be used to sweep out the remainder. After which, a fire test will be conducted to ensure the chimney is in working order and safe to use.
How long for a bird stuck in a chimney to die
Provided you don’t accidentally light a fire, a bird is likely to die within a week of being stuck in a chimney. This is usually due to dehydration or hunger, both of which can be exacerbated by the bird struggling to get free. The more the bird tries to escape, the weaker and more tired it will become, but if you reach it in time, it can be rescued if you know how to get birds out of a chimney.
How to prevent birds from nesting in your chimney
There are a number of steps you can take to prevent birds from nesting in your chimney and risking being stuck inside. Regular sweeping of the chimney will help remove any materials used for nesting and will create a less inviting environment for birds to nest in. You may also want to implement deterrents such as fitting a cowl to the chimney pot to restrict access, audio and visual deterrents or other bird proofing solutions.
Get in touch
If you are interested in preventing birds from nesting in your chimney and would like to learn more about how to get rid of pigeons and our Bird Control Solutions available, please get in touch with our team at Urban Hawks today on 0151 345 6854.