There were three birds in my woodstove this afternoon…

Two dead and one still alive – and more durable than the others. From the beak I’m guessing it’s some sort of finch?

Sigh – I really need a better chimney cap. I go through this every Spring, but for some reason this year it’s stretching all through the summer. And yeah, those dead ones are dead because I got tired of trying to rescue them. It’s not like they ever appreciate the effort, and the sparrows – the usual victims of my bird-eating stovepipe – are so stupid and freaked out by the time I let them out of the stove that they just bash themselves against all the closed windows – carefully avoiding the ones I open for them – until they die anyway. Since they never live long in the stove, these days I just wait till they stop scritching around in there and shovel out the bodies.

But this one was different – it kept it up all damn day. So this afternoon I looked inside and found an apparently perfectly healthy not-a-sparrow, clearly not planning to keel over and die very soon. He was going to keep scritching and clanging until I let him out of the damned stove.

So I opened the front door and took the screen out of the window…

…resigned myself to an hour of trying to shoo a bird out of my cabin, opened up the stove all the way, reached in to grab it – which of course it wasn’t having any of. It flew out of the stove and, to my complete shock and wonder, straight out the window.

So I guess I should have done that a few hours ago. I’m a bad person.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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7 Responses to There were three birds in my woodstove this afternoon…

  1. matt says:

    I figure any bird dumb enough to fly down a chimney improves the gene pool when they expire.

  2. Joel says:

    That’s kind of my take on it as well. Sparrows have been trying to go extinct for thousands of years and keep not doing that.

  3. terrapod says:

    Joel, you have all the necessary materials to make a nice stove pipe screen. Some 1/4 inch or 3/8 inch hardware cloth made into a sleeve that fits the pipe, them a circle to act as top, some stainless or copper wire to hold it down and a large pipe clamp would do it. The hard part is getting to the chimney top safely. You may need to hire some local for that. That would last a few years, if you make it from stainless it will last forever.

    You don’t want to know what they cost from the hardware store, I had to replace a square one on my chimney this spring ( being Michigan, has to have a rain/snow cap) and it set me back north of 70 bucks.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Many moons ago I made a screen top for a semi-outdoor stove. Found some steel screen material (about 1/16″ mesh), rolled it into the right size 2-layer tube to fit snugly over the chimney pipe with about 16″ above the pipe, pinched the end closed and held it closed with some “stove pipe wire” threaded through it , a loop of the same wire twisted tight held it clamped against the pipe. Lasted 2 years before rusting out, went to aluminum screen when I couldn’t find steel anymore. Since you are more interested in preventing ornithological intrusion than keeping embers off the top of the tent, hardware cloth would work and it’s cheap.

  5. Andrew says:

    Double down on the screen, especially for things flying out, too. get a good, small square metal screen material and make either a tube type (tube of screen with round cap, or just a tube of screen with the top end sealed flat shut.

    Spark arrester in winter when things are dry, bird arrester and bug arrester. Yeah, bugs. All it will take is an especially wet summer for hordes of flys, midges, mites and other things that haven’t been active for years to suddenly spring to life as huge plague-like swarms.

    Of course, just some cheap hardware cloth will work for most purposes.

    Fix it now, or the next time some younger more spritely Gulcher is around.

  6. Joel says:

    😀 Yeah, I know, guys.

    I have plenty of hardware cloth. The real problem is my morbid fear of heights coupled with my clumsiness on strongly-inclined surfaces.

  7. Andrew says:

    Thus the use of the magic Ian next time he comes by.

To the stake with the heretic!