With the winter hearthfires put out until next autumn comes around, this article, how to make your chimney a home for chimney swifts, is an inspiration to an urban wildlife lover (click the link to read – about 6 minutes long). The key points are, if your chimney is not lined with a metal tube, you are in luck and you could host some chimney swifts. Their numbers have dwindled and habitat has declined, but with an open-sided chimney cap and a good cleaning of your chimney, you could take part in boosting their numbers now!
At Le Nichoir, where I have volunteered in the past, they have an aviary for rehab and a habitat for healthy chimney swifts.
One of my friends, a wildlife technical teacher, lives on the fourth floor of an apartment building on the edge of Côte-des-Neiges (there are many chimney swifts in Côte-des-Neiges and Notre-Dame-de-Grace – you can see and hear their aerial acrobatics most late afternoons). This wildlife teacher has even had bats swoop in through the open balcony door. Here is a photo of a chimney swift which did the same, which she caught in her kitchen.
This is what we biologists call the dorsal view. Here is one in profile:
And if you want to see, hear, and learn more about chimney swifts, visit their All About Birds page. They also have an article for “It Sounds Like There Are Birds Stuck In My Chimney. What Should I Do?“