Stop Birds Getting in a Chimney

Chimney pots are usually inserted into the very top of a chimney to raise the outlet above the height of the bricks, this allows for airflow to pull up smoke and fumes.

Unfortunately, this open chimney pot can be a magnate for birds and also rainfall. Installing a suitable cowl with a bird guard is one option, another would be to cap a disused chimney or if it is still active to insert a suitable wire mesh.

As with all chimney work, the hardest part is getting up there. Avoid resting ladders against tall chimneys as they can topple over.


Chimney mesh to keep out birdsWhile it may be tempting to buy some chicken wire from the local garden centre and insert it into the chimney, a better and safer option would be install a pre-made metal mesh. There are various different sized pots so you will find a wide choice of sizes for the mesh too. Usually from 150mm up to around 250mm. Best to measure the pot first before you order.

Meshes do not prevent water from entering the chimney and are often used when it’s impossible to fit a cowl, perhaps because there is limited space on a crowded chimney top.

Caps and Cowls

A cap is fixed atop of a chimney that is no longer active and allows it to breath, thus preventing a build up of condensation and damp. These products can be made from clay, metal or even plastic. They must be fully removed prior to re starting a chimney!

Cowls are by far the best option as they offer the best of both worlds, a hood to keep out rain, a guard to keep birds away* and many can be used with multiple fuels such as gas, solid fuels and oil. They are easy to install and last a long time. My favorite is the Colt Top.

*Please note that the bird guard must be removed when using solid fuels.