If you’re anything like most Marylanders, you’ve been enjoying the first few warm days of the year. The season’s earliest wildflowers have blossomed, and our first migratory birds will show up in the coming weeks. Proud owners of fireplaces are interested in the nesting habits of one bird in particular: the chimney swift. These migratory birds specialize in building their nests in chimneys. But are they a problem? And when do chimney swifts nest? Today, we’ll answer these questions and more.
When Do Chimney Swifts Nest?
Like clockwork every year, chimney swifts migrate from South America to breed in our area. A majority of them fly across the Gulf of Mexico in a single night. They show up in Maryland around the same time as the warblers, orioles, and the swallows (their closest cousins): the month of April.
The timing of their arrival is quite convenient for homeowners who use their fireplaces, as it is always the time that the desire to light a fire dwindles with the weather. Making matters simpler is that they time their migration based on weather patterns, rather than the time of the calendar year. So a late spring will coincide with a later nesting season.
Their nesting habits may strike you as strange. Why do they choose to nest in chimneys? Before Europeans arrived in the United States, their preferred nesting habitat was in old, hollowed-out trees. But as our old-growth forests were cleared, they learned to make use of the next-best thing: chimneys.
Are Chimney Swifts a Problem?
As we hinted at a moment ago, chimney swifts don’t pose much of a problem to homeowners whatsoever. The nests they build are extremely small and unobtrusive, so they aren’t a fire hazard. When you schedule your annual chimney sweeping in the fall, we will easily remove the now empty nests.
When chimney swifts nest in Maryland, their presence won’t interfere with your desire to light a fire. They will ride the first cold front back to South America, leaving you with plenty of time to light the first fire of the year.
That said, some homeowners prefer not to become chimney swifts landlords. If this is you, there are solutions. If you select the right chimney cap, the swifts won’t be able to fit through. Another option is to invest in a metal chimney, which is far more difficult for the birds to build their nests on.
The chimney swift is a truly remarkable bird species in terms of how it has adapted to habitat loss. You can feel proud if you choose to take on one of these aviary tenants this summer.
Call the Experts at Champion Chimneys Today!
Champion Chimneys, Inc. is a fully licensed, bonded and insured chimney service company that has served customers in Baltimore County, Howard County, and Anne Arundel County, Maryland since 2001. Our team is trained and certified by Certified Chimney Professionals, Inc. (CCP, Inc.). Courteous service is our trademark, and our crews arrive on time in uniform, driving fully equipped trucks. We specialize in all aspects of your chimney system. Whether you need chimney and flue cleaning service or a full chimney rebuild or inspection, contact us at 443-Chimney today and let us fix all your chimney problems. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.