Pop quiz time! Do you know what a Chimney Swift is?

Most people don’t. Most people have never heard of a Chimney Swift and they assume the noises coming from their chimney have to be bats. It’s a logical conclusion, just not always an accurate one.

What is a Chimney Swift?

Chimney Swift birdThe Chimney Swift is a bird with a very sorrowful story. Historically they roosted in hollow trees in North America. As American pioneers moved westward across the continent, forests were cut down devastating the Chimney Swifts natural habitat.

These little birds, however, were extremely adaptable. Instead of hollow trees they decided that masonry chimneys would work just as well. Thus the American Swift became known as the Chimney Swift.

Chimney Swifts are very beneficial to the environment. They are a natural form of pest control much like bats. Chimney Swifts eat nearly one third of their own weight in flying insect pests such as mosquitoes, flies, and termites every day.

Chimney Swifts are a protected species by state wildlife codes and federal law as well. These birds are quickly running out of places to live. If you do have a nest of Chimney Swifts in your home, make sure you do your due diligence to comply with all laws surrounding these birds.

If you need more information on Chimney Swifts, we recommend you check out chimneyswifts.org.

How To Tell The Difference

Before investing money in having a nuisance wildlife professional come visit your home to address your problem, take a little bit of time to determine what it is you actually have living in your chimney. Not all nuisance wildlife professionals handle all types of problems. The person that may be able to help you with birds may not be able to help you with bats or vice verse.

Here are two things you can do on your own before calling in an expert:

1 – Listen carefully. To the noises coming out of the chimney that is. Chimney swifts are exceptionally noisy birds, especially the babies. If you are hearing a lot of noise you either have Chimney Swifts or A LOT of bats. We have an audio recording from a recent inspection that turned out to be Chimney Swifts you can listen to by clicking here.

2 – Set up a twilight watch. Most people report seeing bats fly OUT of their homes in the evening. This is the normal protocol for bats. If you are seeing something fly INTO the chimney in the evening, this is more than likely a bird taking to it’s nest for the night. Chimney Swifts only have one nest per chimney typically consisting of two adults and their young. If you are only seeing a couple of flying things and they are flying in for the night, it is most likely birds.

Still Not Sure?

It’s okay if you don’t feel confident enough to make the call between birds and bats. We understand that even potentially dealing with bats is enough to strike fear into some people.

If you aren’t comfortable investigating your situation, give us a call and we’ll have one of our experienced nuisance wildlife professionals come check it out for you.

Get Bats Out Owner and President Michael KoskiYour local bat removal expert,

Michael Koski


Comments 9

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  • Marci L Lowe

    May 11, 2020 | Reply

    I have a bat infestation in a peak on my roof who do I contact and what will it cost me?

    • Tori Bruce

      May 11, 2020 | Reply

      We would be happy to answer your questions if you call our customer service number 877-264-2287. It is a free consultation and will help give you options of how to handle your bat problem.

  • Esther Netz

    December 25, 2018 | Reply

    Do birds and bats co-habitat in the same chimney

    • GetBatsOut

      December 27, 2018 | Reply

      It's possible but unlikely. Bats are food for birds of prey and tend to stay away from birds. Birds and squirrels will live in the same spaces.

  • Evelyn Caridi

    October 24, 2017 | Reply

    We have bats in our chimney about 150 to 200 and we don't have the money to remove them it is stinking our house up what can we do

    • GetBatsOut

      November 6, 2017 | Reply

      You could chat with your homeowners insurance and see if they will help you out.

  • Leanne

    July 14, 2017 | Reply

    Thank you for the audio. Man, these things are noisy, but at least I know what they are now!

    • GetBatsOut

      April 11, 2018 | Reply

      They are an obnoxious bird! I'm happy it's not bats for you though. Did you install a screen or chimney cap? That's all it takes to get rid of chimney swifts. :)

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