Last week, I noticed something trying to scratch it's way into my fireplace (I had never actually made a fire in it) and some small bones were falling from the area of the flue damper.
Not knowing what was in there, and not wanting to take any chances, I had someone come out to clean the chimney, etc.
After the guy brushed out the chimney from the roof, we made a clear path between the fireplace and the front door while I kept the door open.
I had the children well out of the way, and was hoping it wasn't going to be some 4-legged whatever.
Once the damper was opened, a bird flew out the door (the kids loved that) and then another one came out and banged into the window, shook it's head a bit and then flew out the door.
There were about 10 skulls from birds that were not as fortunate.
New cap, clean flue, and to top it all off the liner looks good. I still don't trust making a fire in there, except maybe one of those small paper-wrapped logs under close supervision.
Got the heater flue checked as well, for good measure. For some reason, there was a cap on the heater flue at the chimney but not the fireplace flue. That was one of my "round tuit" projects that came up sooner than expected.
I can relate . A couple of years ago I was in my shop. I heat it with a wood stove and it has a stainless insulated chimney with a cap on it. I'm walking in and out of the shop doing something on my tractor. I keep hearing noises around the woodstove. Finally I stop and listen and its inside the woodstove. I think squirrel , those b@stards and me have been having a war(they were living in the eave of my house, ever fire a .22 in your eave ). I'm thinking, huh, how'd ya like a little smoke so I grab some newspaper and go to threw it in the stove when out comes a blackened red squirrel, he's beating feet going about a 100 mph. Off he goes never to be seen again, or at least not when my .22 is in my hands
I still remember sitting in bed when our big gray kitty came up the stairs trailing a sonic boom, (chasing something that flew into our bedroom) and LEAPT onto the bed, and made the weirdest BRRT-CH-CH noise I've ever heard, and staring intently at the ceiling.
Turns out a bat had come down the chimney!
The GF (long gone now, thank the Gods) started screaming "KILL IT! KILL IT!"
I got her out of the room, waited till the little fella landed on a notebook, covered him with a towel, and held bat, book, and towel out an open window, uncovered him, and let him fly away.
Told the GF - "How'd you like it if you got lost one evening, stopped to ask directions, got chased by a guy ten times your size and then squashed? Leave him alone"
We had bats in our chimney also. Several times one had gotten in the basement and eventually flew up the steps. It is an eerie situation. For several days, my wife and I would go outside at dusk and watch them take off for the night. Since it was summertime and I didn't need heat, I ended up putting a tarp over the chimney so they couldn't get back in at dawn.