National Bird Guard Week – 9th to 13th March
Please support National Bird Guard Week. It is estimated that over a million birds die each year in the UK after becoming trapped inside chimneys. They accidentally fall in and never get out.
Gavin Cater from the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps said: ” Sweeps find all sorts of dead birds in chimneys – 0wls, starlings, pigeons, jackdaws and sparrows are among the many species. I’ve even heard of a duck and the occasional bat!”
Chimney sweeps and fire installers are most likely to discover the evidence and often just skeletons are left. They occasionally remove multiple carcases from a single flue. Old unused fireplaces that have been blocked at the bottom but left open at the top are particularly deadly. Gavin added: “If it’s a live chimney the bird may escape from the fireplace at the bottom, or maybe a sweep will rescue it. It’s only really jackdaws that are capable of getting themselves back out the top.”
Unnecessary bird deaths can be prevented by fitting proper bird guards and chimney caps where appropriate. Guild technical director Steven Howard said: “It is very important that the correct design of guard is fitted. Always use a professional chimney sweep or fireplace installer. They know what is safe to fit and how to fit it properly. Never use homemade devices and never push mesh into the top of a chimney, it can be dangerous.”
Help stop the suffering and promote National Bird Guard Week. Contact your local professional sweep for the correct advice.
Bird guards will also stop the nuisance of nesting jackdaws and many designs will keep the worst of the rain out. Some caps for unused chimneys have a special screen that not only stops birds but bees and wasps too. If unexplained swarms of flies suddenly appear in your room one day, there’s probably a dead bird in your chimney.