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Old 10-29-2009, 01:31 PM
 
28 posts, read 48,793 times
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Default Bird entered inside through fireplace. ?'s abt soot.

Every so often a flicker woodpecker finds it's way into my apartment after falling into my chimney and flying out of my fireplace. Well this morning I was woken up by a large-ish bird flying around in my bedroom knocking stuff over. quite a thing to be woken up by. Okay so about the soot that she was covered in after having struggled her way down through my chimney and into my apartment. Does it pose a health threat to the bird in cold wintery weather such as what we have outside? would it help let water into her feathers? There's nothing I can really do about it now that I've all ready coaxed her out side. but since I was curious I thought I'd come in here and ask.
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Columbia, California
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Birds are good at grooming, I would just let them clean themselves.
Why don't you close the flue?
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:32 PM
 
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I can't see where dry soot would be a problem - much like any powdery substance, it will just blow off, much like bird dander.

More problematic would be any kind of resinous soot.

Closing the flue would stop the bird entering the room, but not the bird getting in the chimney in the first place. Best solution is a simple wire surround for the top of the chimney. I believe they sell them pre-made, check a Lowe's or Home Depot. If they don't, simple chicken wire will do the trick. Just make sure you form it into a pointy shape to discourage anything trying to nest on it.
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Old 10-30-2009, 01:26 AM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
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If it's an apartment, you probably have to complain to the manager about birds getting into your place, to get them to do anything.
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Old 10-30-2009, 03:46 PM
 
Location: where the moss is taking over the villages
2,161 posts, read 3,121,223 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cementglow View Post
Every so often a flicker woodpecker finds it's way into my apartment after falling into my chimney and flying out of my fireplace. Well this morning I was woken up by a large-ish bird flying around in my bedroom knocking stuff over. quite a thing to be woken up by. Okay so about the soot that she was covered in after having struggled her way down through my chimney and into my apartment. Does it pose a health threat to the bird in cold wintery weather such as what we have outside? would it help let water into her feathers? There's nothing I can really do about it now that I've all ready coaxed her out side. but since I was curious I thought I'd come in here and ask.
Sorry I didn't read any preceding posts to my own... You need to close the flue!

We found this out the hard way when a BAT flew in the house on fourth of July when my daughter was home alone without me...

She called where I was & left messages that I heard the next day, hysterically, and after a long description leading up to what seems the punch line... she exclaimed that the bat came in through the CHIMNEY!!! It sounded hilarious but she was... incredulous...

She had to deal with it alone. It was swooping at the cats who were extremely intrigued & she was extremely worried about her 5 pound yorkie who would have loved to eat it if he could have gotten his snappish teeth on it first... Hahahaha. After a long drawn out escapade of hiding in the venetian blinds of windows about 12 feet up, eventually it hid in the eaves of the roughshod ceiling space between the living room & dropped ceiling bathroom & crawled away into oblivion.

Close your flue. For soot: You can get (if a million people didn't tell you already) a container of powdered copper sulfate compound at the home improvement store (I got some at True Value for under $7) that will help with the soot. Big box stores will match prices. If going to a True Value isn't convenient, call them, get the price & tell the big box store the price: they should match it.

The copper sulfate compound is cheaper & more efficient than the fancy log things for cleaning the chimney. It's worth about 20 logs. How about that?

Kate
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Old 11-01-2009, 08:41 AM
 
Location: western u.s., planet earth
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That is a fun story, SarahKate.

I had a screened cap put at the top of the chimney, which helps to protect the roof, and keeps out the birds.
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Old 11-01-2009, 06:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cementglow View Post
Okay so about the soot that she was covered in after having struggled her way down through my chimney and into my apartment. Does it pose a health threat to the bird in cold wintery weather such as what we have outside? would it help let water into her feathers? There's nothing I can really do about it now that I've all ready coaxed her out side. but since I was curious I thought I'd come in here and ask.

My question was:

Does soot harm birds if their feathers are covered in it?

My question was not:

How do I keep birds out of my chimney?


The solution to keeping birds out of my chimney is quite obvious. We don't need to discuss what it is anymore. The problem is that constructing a cap on the top of my chimney will be quite a big deal so I'm asking this question in order to gauge its urgency. Birds only fall down my chimney about one to two times a year, its all ways a flicker too. There is a flue door immediately above the fire place that I can close but I'd rather the bird get into my apartment than be stuck in my chimney on top of the closed flue door. The flue only has a ten inch diameter which is too small for a flicker sized bird to just simply fly back out. Coaxing them out afterwards is quite easy (and entertaining) since I live on the lower level and have 8ft ceilings that aren't vaulted anywhere so that I couldn't reach it with a broom. The way I do it is I close the shades on all the windows, open the sliding glass door, pull the sliding glass door shade to the edge of the open door and that way the bird won't confuse a window with an open door.

Birds depend on their feathers keeping moister out in order to stay warm. So does soot on a bird's feathers hamper their ability to keep moister out on snowy, cold days like it was the day I posted this thread?
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Old 11-03-2009, 01:23 PM
 
Location: where the moss is taking over the villages
2,161 posts, read 3,121,223 times
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Birds are perfectly capable of grooming themselves... They preen & pull oils from the glands in their skin to help the debris/whatever disperse. Nice to worry, but unless you see them floundering after coming down your chimney, they're probably just fine.

They get yucky stuff on their feathers all the time from parking lots! It's not like when a bird gets contaminated by an oil slick, I'm sure. If you're really worried, you can ask an expert at a pet store.

Kate
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Old 11-05-2009, 02:11 PM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,310 posts, read 21,044,193 times
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Most birds are much better off covered in soot than they would be captured and bathed by a well-meaning human.

As far as the soot goes, you can eat it for a tummy ache. Shouldn't be a big problem.
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