File:Chaetura pelagica -Perryville, Missouri, USA -chimney-8 (1).jpg

Chimney swifts: Greg Schechter via Wikimedia Commons

There’s a twittering in my house.

[Yes, kids, long ago, “twitter” simply was one of those lovely onomatopoetic words, and it usually referred to bird sounds].

Actually, the reverberation in my living room starts as a tweet, moves toward a collective twitter and finally explodes in a maraca-esque cacophony.

It makes my dog insane and acts as an alarm clock on days I am lucky enough to be asleep at sunrise, but, having talked to the folks at 911 Wildlife, I know it is temporary and I understand that the little swifts nesting above my fireplace actually are one of the few birds that rely on us humans for life.

Here’s what wildlife expert Bonnie Bradshaw told us a few months ago:

Me: Last summer my chimney was twittering and rattling for a few weeks. Then it stopped. What was in there?

Bradshaw: Oh! Those were chimney swifts. They are very loud but very tiny. They are one of four birds totally dependent on human structures. Their little feet are incapable of perching, so they do everything in flight. They construct nests from tiny twigs. They will leave for winter. I suggest putting an old blanket in the damper to quiet the noise next year!

Listen to the chimney swift (the second recording is the one with which I am most familiar).

According to the Humane Society, The Migratory Bird Treaty Act prohibits the harming of chimney swifts or disturbance of an active nest.