As the cold winter months approach, you may find some wildlife, including birds, trying to enjoy the comfort of the inside of your home. Chimneys can offer birds an invitation to come inside. Some will rest on rooftops near chimney tops, then attempt to enter your home in search of food or shelter. Since some birds like to nest in hollow trees, a chimney can be the next best thing. Having an unwanted guest is never fun for homeowners. Especially when they can potentially carry parasites and leave droppings behind. Learn what signs to look for if you suspect you have a visitor, how to get rid of birds in a chimney, and ways to prevent them from coming back.

birds in the chimney

Signs Birds Are in The Chimney

Different wildlife species may try to enter your home at various times of the year. Before exploring bird removal from a chimney, there are a few signs that can help determine if your guests are, in fact, the feathered kind.

  • Listen for different sounds. Birds will make a lot of noise as they attempt to get out of your home including scratching, chirping, rustling and flapping.
  • An actual sighting. If your chimney flue is not closed, you may be able to see the bird flying in and out of your home.
  • Baby birds chirping. If a bird has nested and had babies in your chimney you will hear constant chirping as the babies call for their mother.
  • A foul smell. Bad odor coming from your chimney may be a sign that a bird has died and is beginning to decay.

How to Get Rid of Birds in a Chimney

  • Trapping. Attempting to use traps yourself may be difficult and ineffective for removing birds from a chimney. Traps are more effective in feeding sites vs. roosting sites and the bird will most likely be too disoriented by the small, consolidated space to fly in to a trap.
  • Smoking out a bird. This method is not recommended and can be unsafe. Smoking could kill the bird while inside the chimney and any nesting material could pose a fire hazard.
  • Scare Tactics. You can attempt to scare a bird out of your chimney by making a loud noise or shining a bright light. However, if the bird can’t find its way out, it may just tire and continue resting.
  • Bird nest removal. Removing a nest may sound like a good idea, but it is not recommended that you attempt it yourself. There are laws protecting specific birds. In addition, birds may carry parasites and pathogens that can cause disease that you will want to avoid coming in to direct contact with.


Avoid dealing with how to get rid of a bird in your chimney or home altogether by taking some preventative measures. Consider consulting a professional about installing a chimney cap to stop birds from using it as an entry point. And, try to remember to close the flue.

Bird removal from a chimney is not always an easy task. Let a wildlife technician help determine the most effective way to get them out and develop a customized solution to ensure they don’t come back. Contact Terminix® today.