The RSPCA is urging people to ensure their chimneys are not a hazard to wildlife after a pigeon was found dangling from his feet in a bricked-up fireplace – and is believed to have been stuck there for at least six days.

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The bird had a lucky escape after we were contacted by the residents of a house in Elmbridge Road, in Birmingham on Saturday, 6 August, after they heard loud bangs from the wall of their living room. Thinking something had fallen down their chimney, they pulled out the fireplace but couldn’t find anything.

But as the week went on, they kept hearing the noises and realised that the noise was coming from next door.

RSPCA Animal Collection Officer (ACO) Cara Gibbon said: “When I went to inspect I discovered it had been bricked and boarded up so I had to get in touch with the landlord to get permission to break him free. The landlord gave us permission to make a hole in the plasterboard, and we managed to see the pigeon trapped, as we think he must have been for six days.

Pigeon2.jpg“I managed to pull him out but he had unfortunately lost blood flow in his legs as he had nothing to hold onto and has been holding himself up using his wings against the cavity wall. Thankfully after a few minutes he seemed to be OK and started walking and flapping his wings.”

The pigeon was taken to the RSPCA’s Birmingham Animal Hospital, before being released back into the wild.

ACO Gibbon said: “Every week we get calls about birds being trapped in chimneys but they are not all as lucky as this pigeon. Sadly birds of all types can suffer when they get trapped in a chimney. The best way to stop this from happening is by having ‘pigeon caps’ – also known as chimney cowls – professionally installed on their chimneys, as this can stop birds from falling down the flue and suffering.”

For information and guidance on pigeons in your home or garden, read our “Living With Pigeons” factsheet, available online here.

The RSPCA is a charity and we rely on public donations to exist. To assist our inspectors in carrying out their vital work please text HELP to 78866 to give £3. (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message.)