My cat (stove) got 8 birds while i was on vacation

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Dieselhead

Minister of Fire
Feb 21, 2011
702
NE
We went away camping for 6 days and got back yesterday. No sign of any activity in my stove before departing. I’ve had a single bird find its way down my flue in the past, Id hear it fluttering around and one of my dogs usually alert me to the activity in the stove but this time I came home to 8 Birds in my firebox! Unfortunately we were away for too long and they didn’t make it. I have to imagine one made its way in and all the others heard it calling and made their way in to only meet their demise. Keep an eye and ear out for our feathered friends. It was surely a surprise and must of been a rough struggle. I won’t post the pics as nobody needs to see that, but lots of bird poop and you can see where they even tried to escape by going behind the BKs side shields inside the box as a lot of creosote had been pushed out into my previously clean stove by their activity.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,555
South Puget Sound, WA
Poor things. Have you considered a coarse screen for the cap?
 

Dieselhead

Minister of Fire
Feb 21, 2011
702
NE
Poor things. Have you considered a coarse screen for the cap?
Until now, no. No problems like this for the 11 years the chimneys been installed. Had a random one here or there sneak in (2nd pic) but caught it in time. Getting up there is a bit of a chore (10 pitch roof, gotta straddle the ridge a ways) I think screen will plug pretty quick with the BK as well the top 2 feet of flue and the cap are always the worst... my Selkirk cap has a band around it but them birds are too curious.

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Dataman

Minister of Fire
Sep 10, 2018
1,012
Newport, Wa
I keep Metal Cloth piece in the pipe that goes thru the wall. I have 8" Pipe and cleanout outside. Pull it out in Winter (Harmon XXV Pellet Stove). Stopped the bird problem 100%. I also leave the bottom cleanout open so they just fall thru. Stupid Birds.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,555
South Puget Sound, WA
Until now, no. No problems like this for the 11 years the chimneys been installed. Had a random one here or there sneak in (2nd pic) but caught it in time. Getting up there is a bit of a chore (10 pitch roof, gotta straddle the ridge a ways) I think screen will plug pretty quick with the BK as well the top 2 feet of flue and the cap are always the worst... my Selkirk cap has a band around it but them birds are too curious.

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If the problem persists consider attaching a 1" mesh screen to the outer perimeter of the cap. That should be coarse enough to not plug. If it does, the flue really needs cleaning.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,308
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Before I got rid of my chimney cap screen it would regularly plug with brown dry crunchy stuff but the flue was very clean. So I don’t think you can assess flue condition based on screen cloggage.
 

PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
1,085
MA
Good video to show a homeowner when they say they don't need a chimney cap. :)

Especially at the end when the it's stated that it's not covered by insurance.
 

vatmark

Member
Jan 5, 2017
103
Nebo NC
Those dang bluebirds. We get them in our wood stove every spring. Had 3 come in this spring. I rescued all of them. Luckily my stove has a side door making it easy to grab them and get them out without letting them get into the room. We are not going to put a screen on because we can't get up there to clean it. I'll just continue to rescue them out of the stove each spring. Once spring is over we don't get anymore.

The latest is a vulture landing on my chimney and sunning himself. That just started yesterday. I heard a weird sound like something hitting the chimney. Went out and saw a vulture fly away. Today my husband heard something. Went out and there was the vulture sitting on top of the chimney. He clapped and it flew away.
 

gthomas785

Minister of Fire
Feb 8, 2020
530
Central MA
We used to get nesting chimney swifts every year until I added caps with screens on them.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,555
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, if this was an issue in my area I'd add a coarse 1" screen, even if running a BK.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,928
Long Island NY
Yes, if this was an issue in my area I'd add a coarse 1" screen, even if running a BK.

Yes, me too.
I have to say though, that my first BK season left me with a completely clean flue, but a bit (half to a full quart) crusty dull powdery stuff in the 90 deg elbow connecting the thimble to the flue. Sweep said that was because that elbow (1.5-2 ft underground) was single wall whereas the rest was double wall (in outside masonry).
Point is, the screen and pipe even up top (coldest) was clean.

So it likely depends a lot on specific conditions of wood and system whether the screen has a tendency to plug up or not.
 

Dieselhead

Minister of Fire
Feb 21, 2011
702
NE
Well, another one made it down this morning around 7, I heard it sliding down the flue. It’s currently hanging around in the cat chamber. I’m waiting for it to drop down into the firebox so I can catch and release. Maybe that 1” mesh isn’t such a bad idea this is starting to become a problem.
 

vatmark

Member
Jan 5, 2017
103
Nebo NC
New visitor to the stove this morning. Polyphemus moth. I was able to rescue him and placed him out on my porch. He eventually flew away.
IMG_4995.jpg IMG_4189.jpg
 

Dataman

Minister of Fire
Sep 10, 2018
1,012
Newport, Wa
I have 8" Pipe thru the wall and cleanout outside. I keep Metal Fabric in the piece going thru wall and open up the Bottom Cleanout. They just fall thru!
 

Dieselhead

Minister of Fire
Feb 21, 2011
702
NE
I had to go out for a few hours yesterday am the bird was still up in the cat chamber. By the time I got home there were 3 dam birds now. They must hear the trapped one and go investigate. my daughter got a kick out of me chasing 2 that escaped the stove into the house while I was trying to rescue them. This little one is the type that cam down this time, you an see all the poop from the previous episode... 951D334A-2CF7-45A5-B0EE-A32A17DA8FA0.jpeg
 

Dieselhead

Minister of Fire
Feb 21, 2011
702
NE
I have 8" Pipe thru the wall and cleanout outside. I keep Metal Fabric in the piece going thru wall and open up the Bottom Cleanout. They just fall thru!
My pipe goes straight up from the top of the stove 25’ through the ridge of the great room it’s installed in.
 

Dieselhead

Minister of Fire
Feb 21, 2011
702
NE
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Well it’s been a week, figured I was overdue......
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,928
Long Island NY
I just see this as "hey, it's free biomass" (and @BKVP seems to recently have suggested that "only cordwood" is no longer going to be mentioned in the updated manual, and he used the argument "it's biomass").

But all joking aside, I am a bird fan - so it's best to have a mesh on top to prevent them messing up your BK.
 

BKVP

Minister of Fire
I had a screech owl in mine once. Lifted up slip joint, say the Linda Blair heading spinning, lowered the pipe and got some heavy welding gloves. Grabbed bird, took him outside and away he went!
 
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