Hot Topics: There's a Barn Swallow in My Bathroom Vent Hot Topics: There's a Barn Swallow in My Bathroom Vent

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Good ventilation in a bathroom is important. Steam from the shower and moisture in the room can lead to mildew, spongy walls and peeling paint. So when the duct for the bath fan is clogged, you’ve gotta fix it as soon as possible. But what if it’s clogged with little baby birds? You don’t have to be an environmentalist for that to give you pause. Of course, the Forum has the solution.

Original Post: Barn swallows and their hatchlings in my bathroom vent duct

Northern Mike Forum Topic Moderator

Ok, I'll partly admit I didn't take proactive measures in time and now I'm in a bit of a pickle.

Sometime over the course of the winter, one or more fins on the vent exit for our bathroom vent came off. Been meaning to get up there to replace the vent, but didn't have the proper gear (pretty steep roof, 3 stories high), and when I finally did have the gear, it's been raining.

Anyway, not only do I have a barn swallow issue (they made a nest in the duct), but when I went up into the attic to resolve the issues, I could hear little squeaks... The eggs have hatched.

So... The birds are ~3ft into the duct. Can't remove the duct from inside the attic without a great risk of loose birds. The ducts are that cheap metal flex hose (also on my list to replace), so I can’t even get a good enough seal if I tried squeezing the pipe before and after them enough to contain them and get it out.

Any thoughts or ideas?

The best suggestion I've received (which isn't all that great) is a shop vac.

Highlights from the Thread

Pilot Dane Group Moderator

I've been there before...

I would just leave them be for the time being. Check weekly to find out when the babies have left the nest. Then, once they are gone, go about fixing the outer louvers and either replace or clean out the duct. As you guessed, trying to do anything while the babies are in there can lead to other problems, but waiting a few weeks should make it much easier.

PAbugman Forum Topic Moderator

Mixing compassion with urgency is a tough one. If a couple weeks is all it will take then I’d consider waiting. Can you use the fan in the meantime or does it have to work too hard because of resistance?

Pay attention for grayish bird mites in bathroom. They don’t hurt humans but humans do freak out about them.

Northern Mike Forum Topic Moderator

They were gone pretty quickly. Had to replace the duct as they had packed it in very tight just outside my arm's reach. Was going to replace the cover outside at the same time, but yet again, it was raining. Don't want to play on the roof in the rain as it's a pretty steep pitch.

Yeele Member

I'm glad your guest split fairly quickly. It would be a shame to have to shop vac them out. Did you get everything patched up and ready to go for next year? The birds are beautiful, so apart from being in my home I couldn't complain.

Northern Mike Forum Topic Moderator

“I'm glad your guest split fairly quickly. It would be a shame to have to shop vac them out. Did you get everything patched up and ready to go for next year? The birds are beautiful, so apart from being in my home I couldn't complain.”

I am also fairly glad they left on their own fairly quickly. Although not an environmentalist or anything, didn't care for the idea of ending things on them.

As for the repairs, got the vent fixed and temp ducts in place. Going to replace the flex pipe (dryer vent hosing) the previous owners had installed with rigid insulated pipe when time and $$ permit. The flexible ducting is ok for summer, but will freeze and make a mess come winter.

Read more at: //www.doityourself.com/forum/indoor-outdoor-animal-control/496451-barn-swallows-their-hatchlings-my-bathroom-vent-duct.html#ixzz2Ykt4kVLV

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