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What to do about a bird having fallen down the chimney in your house


A wild bird or a bat might get into your house. Often by the misfortune of falling down a chimney, this wild creature is then a nuisance out of place in the house. This makes a mess and it can be quite frightening seeing a wild bird flapping around as if it's something out of the horror film "The Birds" by Hitchcock. It might look a bit like it, but that's where the similarity ends, as the animal is more scared of you than you are of it!

Part of the problem is that you want to catch the bird so you can get it out of your house, but it's difficult to catch as it considers you to be a predator who is trying to catch it to eat it. It will perch on the curtains and on the chandeliers, flap about from one window to another, and make some unholy noises too. And try as you might it is difficult to get a grip on the critter as it seems to panic and jump away at the last minute. But help is at hand as this problem has been dealt with successfully before, and the method is here to be found.

To catch a bird that's become trapped in your house, here's what to do: Take some net curtains (you know, those frilly drapes at the window, like the things the neighbours twitch at when they are looking at you!). Hold a big piece of net curtain outstretched and follow the bird from one perch to another, and then when it lands in a vulnerable position, ensnare it in the net curtain!

This works because the net curtain can be seen through and air can pass through it, but the creature can not, so it will be easily bagged.

OK, net curtains aren't for everyone, and some people think they are a bit old-fashioned, but the next nearest thing is something which is lightweight and see-through but will be strong enough to capture the bird. A lightweight towel might do, but try to avoid plastic.

The bird may utter a final squawk of despair as it thinks it is doomed, but it's generally best to capture it as quickly as possible to reduce the amount of stress it suffers flapping about in your house!The bird about to be set free!

Also, if it's a bat rather than a bird, you need to be even more careful of the claws becoming snagged in the material.

Taking the bagged bird/bat outdoors, you need to hold on to the material very firmly, and then loosen the animal from it. Don't let it fly away with the material!

These creatures often don't get a second thought as they fly about outdoors, as they are just part of the natural scene. It's only when you get face to face with them in the wrong environment that you realise such things as how big they are, how nervous they can be, how much noise they make, etc.

Incidentally, if you haven't yet had to deal with the "help there's a bird flapping about in my house and I want to get it to leave" problem, it's best to just remember Net Curtains rather than trying to find this page again. It's a bit like those public information films like the chip pan fire which you must put a damp teacloth over, and here's another one, this time to make a note of in advance: Being prepared in case of hard disc drive problems

As far as I know, this method of using a net curtain for catching a wild bird which has got into your house, can also be used for catching an escaped canary or other caged bird, but it's worth remembering that the motives of the bird are quite different. A wild bird needs to escape from your house, whereas an escaped canary, cockatiel, etc, needs to remain in the house. You may find better luck leaving the cage in the room with the cage door open and some food inside.

Also see removing a lizard from a swimming pool