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There’s a pigeon in my chimney, WTF do I do?

(45 Posts)
KOGoen Thu 17-Sep-20 01:54:57

Today while propped up in bed feeding DS, I heard a distinctive pigeon coo very close to me. It was incredibly loud as if it was right in my ear and it scared the shit out of me. Went to the window thinking it must have been outside but realised it was coming from the chimney which my bed is propped up against. The bird was literally right behind where my head was resting.

I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to listen to the poor thing starving to death in there, and my head rests right next to where it is trapped so I can hear it cooing constantly. I’ve moved my bed to the other end of the room. Bird is behind a cheap plastic vent in the chimney as well rather than brick/concrete so it’s very loud. I can hear its every movement and when it dies I imagine it will stink. I’d shine a torch in there to get a look of it, but to be honest I’m too scared. I posted a bit of bread through the vent for it, because as I said I don’t want it starving to death in there. How can I deal with this effectively? I’m going to have to remove the vent, let it come out and fly out of the window aren’t I? It’s definitely stuck there, I heard it eating the bread and I played pigeon noises on my phone which it responded to.

I have a huge bird phobia so this is my worst nightmare. If it wasn’t for the fact that it’s clearly behind the vent and not behind a solid wall I might have been able to ignore it and pretend it wasn’t happening confused

OP’s posts: |
CitizenFame Thu 17-Sep-20 01:57:58

No help but I am cracking up at you playing pigeon noises to it on your phone 😂

Tavannach Thu 17-Sep-20 02:04:11

It'll need water - haven't a clue how you'll manage that. Maybe the RSPB could give you advice if you call them in the morning. Birds sleep at night so it's probably okay till then.
Very kind to play it pigeon sounds.

KOGoen Thu 17-Sep-20 02:08:14

I played the sounds to determine for sure it was a pigeon...I’m familiar with pigeon sounds living in a town centre and was already pretty certain it was one and it definitely responded to the noises. Hopefully it provided it some comfort as well.

@Tavannach Oh god, didn’t even think of what it will drink. Yes, I’ll look for places to ring. I’ve just knocked on the wall and nothing so I think it is sleeping.

OP’s posts: |
cbt944 Thu 17-Sep-20 02:09:04

If it's newly arrived there, it may still get itself out - fly up towards daylight perhaps? My first action, in these sorts of situations, after panic, is to pray feverishly and then go to bed with my heart pounding and hope the situation has resolved itself overnight. If not, it's a step by step thing... I have tended to have to deal with larger creatures, not so many birds, with this sort of problem. It's very daunting, I agree.

If it persists/is stuck/remains (has nested? I don't know about pigeons!), you could also phone any local chimney sweeps, fireplace people and such, and ask for their advice - you may hit upon a kind one - or perhaps a wildlife caring charity group may have some answers for how to coax it out without inviting it to soar around your house! Or try google for suggestions. I found help for my situation by reading others' solutions, and it helped to know I was not the lone person on earth with this dilemma.

Aha! I just found this, for example:

Terrace58 Thu 17-Sep-20 04:56:55

There are services that will get small animals out of attics And chimneys. I would call one of them. Near me, you would be looking for raccoon or possum removal and release. If they can’t do birds, I’m guessing they could direct you to the right business.

SerenDippitty Thu 17-Sep-20 06:24:07

Are you sure it is in the chimney and not sitting on the chimney? The chimney shaft will act as an amplifier. We get loads of bird noises in our living room because of this. Sometimes woodpigeons cooing sometimes magpies having a row.

oliveroses Thu 17-Sep-20 06:38:25

I had this a couple of years ago, I couldn't believe it! I did manage to get people out from the RSPB I think but the problem resolved itself before they arrived, I had to take a morning off work though. Basically I opened the fireplace vent - it won't come near you, will be too scared. Put a bunch of towels on the floor and opened the windows. Then leave a torch or the light in your phone shining up the chimney, they think it's daylight and head towards it. I then left the room and did some other things, half an hour later heard it flapping around and then it went out of the window (gave me a really cheeky look just before it flew off). I was so relieved, it was huge! Didn't make too much mess either x

oliveroses Thu 17-Sep-20 06:40:01

Ps then I had my chimney capped 😆

MinesAPintOfTea Thu 17-Sep-20 06:49:24

If the vent is where the fireplace needs to be then it's already in the space at the bottom on the chimney. Agree with pp - open the windows wide and unscrew the vent to let it into your room. Then you can leave (run out of) the room and leave it to it. Chances are it will fly out on its own.

As it's been in all night, maybe leave a bit of bread and a shallow dish with some water on a bath mat next to the vent before you open it

bez91 Thu 17-Sep-20 06:56:14

The RSPCA will help capture it. It happened twice when I managed a gas servicing contract apart from the bird got stuck behind an old decommissioned gas fire so had to arrange for the gas engineer to remove the fire and meet the RSPCA at the same time, bit of a nightmare but both the birds survived, I think the second time a local bird twitcher helped out rather than RSPCA 🙈

honeylulu Thu 17-Sep-20 07:14:20

This happened to me twice in two different houses! Both times the bird came out through the fireplace. I think they got so far down they got stuck. The first one came out of its own accord and terrified me as I just found it flapping around the house. I opened all the upstairs windows wide and it flew out after about 30 seconds.

The second one was stuck in a narrower fireplace. My husband gently pulled it out. Unfortunately the windows here don't open fully when the sash locks are in place so the poor bugger couldn't work out how to get out and flapped around the room, cut its head and then kept nutting the ceiling (decorating it with pigeon blood - we had literally just decorated!!) He managed to grab it and post it out of the window gap. Had he had the hindsight he says he would have unlocked the windows and opened them wide before getting pidgey out of the fireplace!

Remember that bird will be more scared then you. If I were you I'd open all your windows wide, pull out the vent and them hide in another room as once it's out it will find its way out of the house quickly but there will be some flapping. If you wait for RSPCA it might come out by itself before you can help. Good luck.

We're now having bird guards put on all chimneys!

Lolalovesmarmite Thu 17-Sep-20 07:21:41

Sorry, I don’t have anything helpful to say, I just love the fact that you played pigeon noises to it!

ComeBackLaterPlease Thu 17-Sep-20 07:56:07

Also no help, but I read your thread title to the tune of

There’s a rat,
in the kitchen,
What am
I gunna do....

And now I’ve got an ear worm of ....

There’s a pigeon
in the chimney
what are
you gunna do


You’re gunna sing
To the pigeon
That’s what
You’re gunna do

You’re gunna sing that bird!

Sunnydaysstillhere Thu 17-Sep-20 07:58:19

Just came on to read your coo- l story.....
Once had a dkitten stuck up a chimney and the fire brigade came out.

bumpyknuckles Thu 17-Sep-20 08:20:54

We had this - a chimney sweep will come and sort it out (for a fee, obviously).

hula008 Thu 17-Sep-20 08:26:49

If it's newly arrived there, it may still get itself out - fly up towards daylight perhaps?


emptyshelvesagain Thu 17-Sep-20 08:29:38

Can you not take the vent off? Ours is big enough to removed and free anything trapped

cbt944 Thu 17-Sep-20 08:35:23


*If it's newly arrived there, it may still get itself out - fly up towards daylight perhaps?*


What's so hilarious here? I've had birds, and also larger creatures do this.

perfumeistooexpensive Thu 17-Sep-20 08:43:13

I've got a bird phobia and would be terrified to open the vent and terrified to leave it there. I'd put out a message on my local FB pages asking for help.

WombatStewForTea Thu 17-Sep-20 08:51:30

Remove/cover as many soft furnishings from the room before you open the vent. Be much easier to clean up after!

And then get your chimney capped!

I still remember this happening to us when I was a kid grin

countrygirl99 Thu 17-Sep-20 08:53:58

Is the fireplace blocked off? If not contact a chimney sweep. If it is you will either have a builders bill or a dead pigeon. Once you are sorted get a bird guard put on your chimney.

Nottherealslimshady Thu 17-Sep-20 08:56:09

Yeah I'd remove the vent, close your door and open the windows as far as they go. Be ready with a sheet if it starts to panic so you can catch it if needs be. I couldn't let it die in there.

EvilPea Thu 17-Sep-20 08:56:56

Yes check it’s in and not on the chimney top. It does echo down.
Open your windows, shut the door and open the Vent.
If it’s still stuck do call someone out (chimney sweep may be able to help)

Bitter experience of one decomposing up there, it was grim.

myusernamewastakenbyme Thu 17-Sep-20 08:59:48

My 22 year old son is home from uni and his bedroom is downstairs in what should be the dining room...there is a victorian fireplace in his room and during lockdown he was on his xbox when this tiny bird flew into his room....he is over 6ft and watching him flapping his arms around as the bird was flying around his room was hilarious....

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