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Chimney Swift Fund

Photo: Ron d’Entremont



Important notes for applicants

Please read the Guidelines carefully before filling out the Application Form.

Application deadline

The Chimney Swift Chimney Restoration Fund is temporarily closed. Please visit this page again in early 2024 to find out about the application deadline for the next round of funding.

Questions concerning the Chimney Swift Chimney Restoration Fund

If you have questions concerning eligibility for funding, would like feedback on a draft application, or wish to discuss general questions, concerns or budget specifics, please write to us at chimneyswiftfund @



The Chimney Swift Chimney Restoration Fund

The Chimney Swift Chimney Restoration Fund (the Chimney Swift Fund) is a project undertaken by Birds Canada with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the federal department of Environment and Climate Change and with support and guidance from diverse partners from Saskatchewan to Nova Scotia.


Environment and Climate Change Canada

Nature NB

Nature Saskatchewan

Nature Trust of New Brunswick

Nova Scotia Bird Society


Zoo de Granby


The goal of the Chimney Swift Fund is to help maintain nesting and roosting sites for the Chimney Swift by providing financial support for the restoration of anthropogenic structures (i.e., chimneys, barns, etc.) known to be important for the species in Canada. The Chimney Swift Fund helps address the threat of continued habitat loss to Chimney Swifts and aids recovery efforts for this species at risk.

Who can apply

  1. Any owner of a chimney or other structure in need of repair that is known to be used by Chimney Swifts for nesting or roosting.
  2. A third party, such as a conservation group, may also lead a restoration project for a chimney owner, for which they will work to provide the necessary matching funds (at least 50% of the total amount) from non-federal sources.

Chimney owners who are located in Manitoba should first contact the Manitoba Chimney Swift Initiative who has a specific way of funding chimney restoration projects in this province.

Eligible restoration projects

Any repair work to an anthropogenic structure, such as a chimney, used by nesting or roosting Chimney Swifts anywhere within the Canadian range of the species may be eligible for financial support. Funds from the Chimney Swift Fund may cover up to a maximum of 50% of the total cost of the restoration project. An applicant will be required to match funds on a 1:1 basis. Matching funds for the project may include grants from non-federal sources, but not grants from the federal government.

Repair work on the structure must be done in such a way as not to alter the characteristics that make it suitable for the Chimney Swift. The repair of a chimney should meet the following criteria:

  • The size of the chimney opening (flue) shall not be reduced so as to prevent swifts from entering the chimney. A diameter (round chimney) or diagonal (rectangular chimney) greater than 28.5 cm is generally an adequate size for the species. A chimney opening whose original dimensions are less than this should not be narrowed.
  • If the repair work involves reducing the height of the chimney, a final height (the distance from the rooftop where the chimney emerges to the top of the chimney) of at least 2 m should be maintained.
  • The interior of the chimney will retain a rough or porous surface (made of brick, stone or concrete).
  • The chimney opening will not be obstructed by a screen, cap or spark arrestor.

Priority will be given to projects deemed to have the greatest impact for Chimney Swift conservation provincially and nationally, and so funds will be allocated to the repair of high-priority structures first (see Selection process below). This means that if a project is not selected for support in a given year, it may still be eligible for support in a subsequent year.

Please note that we cannot accept applications for projects that have been completed.

Eligible costs

All costs associated with the repair of a chimney or other structure used by Chimney Swifts are eligible for 1:1 matched support. Eligible costs include, but are not limited to, chimney assessment, materials, and labour costs. However, please note that if you are conducting other repairs to your roof or building at the same time, the cost for the chimney repair alone should be clearly indicated, as other roof repair costs are not covered.

Timeframe for repair work

The repair work must begin after the Chimney Swifts have left for their southbound migration (they usually leave between early September and mid-October, depending on the location). The specific possible start date will need to be evaluated on a case by case basis (please write to us at chimneyswiftfund @ if you require more information). The repair work must be completed by March 31.

Need for a provincial permit

The Chimney Swift Fund provides financial support to Chimney Swift habitat restoration projects that do not impair the function of the habitat (for Chimney Swifts) and that are conducted during the time of the year when Chimney Swifts are absent. Under these conditions, a provincial permit is not required to conduct a restoration project in Saskatchewan, Québec or New Brunswick.

In Nova Scotia, a permit is required by the province even when the project is conducted outside of the period when Chimney Swifts are present. Please contact the Biodiversity Program of the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables ( to get the necessary application form.

In Ontario, information about the restoration project needs to be submitted to the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks ( to determine whether a permit would be required or not.

Selection process

Applications will be evaluated by the Chimney Swift Fund Committee, which is comprised of members from different regions across the Canadian geographic range of the species. The members of the Committee will give precedence to projects that target the restoration of structures that (1) have been identified as critical habitat in the Recovery Strategy for the Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica) in Canada or (2) that have been monitored through a regional/provincial initiative.

The more matching funds relative to the total budget can also make the application more competitive.

Successful applicants

Successful applicants will be required to sign an Agreement with Birds Canada before the first payment can be made. This document includes an agreement that the repair work will be carried out and that it will preserve the characteristics that make the structure suitable for the use of the Chimney Swift (see Eligible restoration projects above).

Successful applicants will be required to agree to maintain the structure accessible to Chimney Swifts through a long-term protection plan (10 years). Successful applicants will also be required to commit to monitoring Chimney Swift use of the structure (2-4 hours per year) in the 5 years subsequent to the restoration work, which may be done by volunteers from provincial Chimney Swift monitoring programs.

The first half of the grant will be forwarded upon receipt of notification by email stating that work has begun. The balance will be issued upon receipt of written confirmation that the work has been completed. Copies of the bill for materials and/or labour (proof of expenditure) will be required, as well as photographs of the work in progress and the finished project.

What happens if the project is cancelled or significantly altered?

If the chimney repair work is permanently cancelled prior to or during the course of the work, or if it results in modifications that make the structure no longer suitable for Chimney Swifts, all awarded funds must be returned to Birds Canada. If the project is delayed, please write to us at chimneyswiftfund @

What to do prior to filling out the Application Form

Before applying for support from the Chimney Swift Fund, you should request a professional evaluation of the cost of repairing the chimney so that it can be maintained as a potential nesting and/or roosting site for Chimney Swifts. You will need to submit a copy of the estimate with the Application Form.



Section 1. Applicant information

Applicants should provide their full name, organization name (if applicable), address, daytime telephone number and email address.

Section 2. Property information

Specify whether you (the applicant) are the owner of the property on which the structure to be repaired is located. If you are not the owner, please provide the owner’s full name, address, daytime telephone number and email address. You will also need to provide a letter from the owner giving you permission to act on their behalf.

As the location of the structure to be repaired may differ from that of the address of the applicant or property owner, provide the address at which the structure is located, as well as the geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude; you can access this information by using Google Maps or a GPS).

Choose the category that best represents the type of building on which the structure to be repaired is located:

  • Residential: e.g., detached house, apartment building, condominium, townhouse
  • Commercial: e.g., bank, pharmacy, restaurant, movie theatre, hotel, bar, supermarket
  • Office/Public: e.g., city hall, fire station, post office, hospital, public library, community centre
  • Educational: e.g., elementary and secondary schools, college, university, vocational school
  • Religious: e.g., church, temple, mosque, synagogue, shrine, presbytery, convent
  • Agricultural: e.g., barn, silo, stable
  • Industrial: e.g., factory, brewery, hydroelectric power station, warehouse
  • Other (specify)

Section 3. Use of the structure by Chimney Swifts

If you are unsure about how to answer the questions in this section, please contact Véronique Connolly at chimneyswiftfund @

If known, specify whether the structure to be repaired has been used by Chimney Swifts as a nest site or roost, or both. You can indicate in the comment box potential signs of occupancy, such as a nest found when the chimney was swept in fall, soot-coloured feathers, white egg or eggshell, or carcass of a chick or adult in the fireplace or at the bottom of the chimney.

If known, indicate whether the use of the structure by Chimney Swifts has been monitored through a regional/provincial initiative (e.g., Birds Canada’s SwiftWatch, the Canadian Wildlife Serice’s Quebec Chimney Swift Roost Survey) and if so, which one.

If known, specify the number of years that the structure has been used by Chimney Swifts, the year the structure was last used by Chimney Swifts, and their maximum number recorded inside the structure. If known, the distance to the closest known roost and the distance to the closest know nesting site should also be provided.

Please indicate in the comment box if the information requested in the present section was obtained from the coordinator of the Chimney Swift Fund or an organization involved in the monitoring of Chimney Swifts.

Section 4. Project Description

The project description should explain how the repair work will preserve the structure. Briefly describe the proposed repair work, listing each step involved and the approximate start and completion dates. Also indicate whether your structure is located in an urban, suburban or rural environment, and if you know of other similar structures in the same neighbourhood that are used by Chimney Swifts. Specify if the repair work is urgent (e.g., for safety reasons) or if it could be postponed to next year.

Section 5. Project cost

Provide a detailed breakdown of the estimated total project cost, these can include, but are not limited to:

  • A feasibility analysis for stabilization or restoration of the chimney, architectural evaluation and drawings, engineer inspections and evaluations.
  • Materials for repair or restoration, such as brick replacement and repointing.
  • Labour costs for repair or restoration (if possible include the estimated number of hours necessary to complete the task).

You will need to submit a copy of the estimate you received for the work. If you asked for several estimates, please include all of them, but indicate the company that you will be using.

Indicate the amount requested for the project. The maximum amount requested cannot exceed 50% of the total anticipated project costs and must have a 1:1 cash match (see Eligible restoration projects above).

Provide the amount of the matching funds secured to complete the project and specify their source (e.g., personal sources, additional grants from municipal or provincial government, or a conservation group).

Additional documents

Please submit the following additional documents with your Application Form:

  • 2-3 photos of the building or structure showing the damage to be repaired
  • Copies of plans, drawings, or illustrations relating to the proposed repair work (if available)
  • A copy of the required permits for the repair work (if available)
  • A letter of support from a local, regional or provincial conservation organization involved in chimney swift preservation (optional)

Application Checklist

This checklist can be used to ensure that your application is complete. All necessary documents must be attached to your application before it can be considered.

☐ I have read the grant guidelines and understand them.

☐ I have clearly filled in all sections of the Application Form.

☐ I have verified that all descriptions are complete and accurate.

☐ I have verified that the figures in the budget are correct.

☐ I have enclosed the cost estimate from the company conducting the repair work.

☐ I have enclosed photos of the damaged chimney.

☐ I have enclosed copies of plans, drawings, or illustrations relating to the proposed repair work (if available).

☐ I have enclosed all required permits (if applicable).

☐ I have enclosed a letter from the property owner (if applicable).

☐ I have enclosed a letter of support from a local conservation organisation involved in Chimney Swift conservation (optional).

Submitting your completed Application Form

Please submit your completed Application Form along with the required supporting material on the Chimney Swift Fund webpage.

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