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Help!  A very small (fits in one hand) all dullish charcoal grey (towards black) bird has found its way into our house, in PA, TWICE!! in the past week.  We have two cats and they’ve managed to allude them, thank goodness!  Only opening to the outside is our chimney. I’ve hunted on bird identification sites and have been unable to find out what they may be.

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Welcome to Whatbird, @Pama.  It's hard to figure out your bird with so little info to go on. If you could include info like, bill colour and/or if the bill was dagger like or blunt cone shaped, leg colour is often helpful along with eye colour too. The more info you can provide, the more accurate the responses will be, a photo would be most helpful. Without more to go on, I'll toss out the suggestion of European Starling simply because my neighbour mentioned one getting down her chimney recently.

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1 hour ago, lonestranger said:

Without more to go on, I'll toss out the suggestion of European Starling simply because my neighbour mentioned one getting down her chimney recently.

We had a European Starling come down our chimney as well.  It was a juvenile, which are all gray.

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4 hours ago, The Bird Nuts said:

We had a European Starling come down our chimney as well.  It was a juvenile, which are all gray.

Yes, but the OP said it fit easily in their hand. Aren’t starlings not small enough? Unless it’s a fledgling...

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10 hours ago, Pama said:

Help!  A very small (fits in one hand) all dullish charcoal grey (towards black) bird has found its way into our house, in PA, TWICE!! in the past week.  We have two cats and they’ve managed to allude them, thank goodness!  Only opening to the outside is our chimney. I’ve hunted on bird identification sites and have been unable to find out what they may be.

Was it able to fly? If not, they are probably fledgling chimney swifts, likely different ones. 

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4 hours ago, IKLland said:

Yes, but the OP said it fit easily in their hand. Aren’t starlings not small enough? Unless it’s a fledgling...

Fledgling EUST are as big as they’re ever going to be, as for most altricial bird species.

I love that the bird can refer indirectly to the cats. 😎

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Hey, ThankYou for suggestions. We definitely are familiar with starlings and this was not in any way a starling!  Actually, we’ve had the “pleasure” a couple of times, of them falling down our chimney in winter.

This bird was quite small, but didn’t appear to be a fledgling.  I was very busy keeping the cats at bay while trying to catch the poor little thing.  So sorry, but I couldn’t take a pic as my phone wasn’t on me.  My recollection is that it was all darkish gray to black, dull, almost velvety looking; no iridescence, no wing bars, no eye circles, no white breast, no tail stripes.  I think the beak and legs were both charcoal and the eye was black - very monochromatic.  It was really quite small (maybe 4”) and pretty sleek.  We are backyard watchers for decades and never saw a bird like this.  Possibly a migrant?  
I wish I could supply a better description, but I was quite preoccupied.  I sat with it wrapped in the bottom of my shirt, eyes covered to keep it calm, after a little rest, I checked him/her for damage - appeared to be fine.  Opened my hand and off he flew!  Pretty straight flyer, not swooping like some birds. 
My husband caught the same guy, or one just like it this morning, also at a screened open window.  He had nothing to add to my description, I’m afraid. We absolutely have no idea how these sweet little guys got in our house!

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11 minutes ago, Pama said:

Hey, ThankYou for suggestions. We definitely are familiar with starlings and this was not in any way a starling!  Actually, we’ve had the “pleasure” a couple of times, of them falling down our chimney in winter.

This bird was quite small, but didn’t appear to be a fledgling.  I was very busy keeping the cats at bay while trying to catch the poor little thing.  So sorry, but I couldn’t take a pic as my phone wasn’t on me.  My recollection is that it was all darkish gray to black, dull, almost velvety looking; no iridescence, no wing bars, no eye circles, no white breast, no tail stripes.  I think the beak and legs were both charcoal and the eye was black - very monochromatic.  It was really quite small (maybe 4”) and pretty sleek.  We are backyard watchers for decades and never saw a bird like this.  Possibly a migrant?  
I wish I could supply a better description, but I was quite preoccupied.  I sat with it wrapped in the bottom of my shirt, eyes covered to keep it calm, after a little rest, I checked him/her for damage - appeared to be fine.  Opened my hand and off he flew!  Pretty straight flyer, not swooping like some birds. 
My husband caught the same guy, or one just like it this morning, also at a screened open window.  He had nothing to add to my description, I’m afraid. We absolutely have no idea how these sweet little guys got in our house!

This description sounds a lot like a Chimney Swift.

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Chimney_Swift

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I thought that Chimney Swift might be the closest when searching for possibilities. The descriptions I’ve read are pretty close, but 5 to 5.5” kinda threw me off. Maybe these were fledglings after all, but they were quite sleek - no fuzzies. And yes, their wings seemed longer than their body, not much tail. We searched through our bird books and are pretty sure this is our answer!  Tomorrow we’ll check our chimney for a nest!  

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1 hour ago, Pama said:

I thought that Chimney Swift might be the closest when searching for possibilities. The descriptions I’ve read are pretty close, but 5 to 5.5” kinda threw me off. Maybe these were fledglings after all, but they were quite sleek - no fuzzies. And yes, their wings seemed longer than their body, not much tail. We searched through our bird books and are pretty sure this is our answer!  Tomorrow we’ll check our chimney for a nest!  

Welcome to WhatBird! Just to clarify, most birds that we see in the wild, including Chimney Swifts, are the same size as adults by the time they leave the nest. Another detail - bird measurement go from the tip of the bill to the tip of the tail, so if you were only thinking of the body itself that could account for the difference in your estimated size.

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10 hours ago, Pama said:

I thought that Chimney Swift might be the closest when searching for possibilities. The descriptions I’ve read are pretty close, but 5 to 5.5” kinda threw me off. Maybe these were fledglings after all, but they were quite sleek - no fuzzies. And yes, their wings seemed longer than their body, not much tail. We searched through our bird books and are pretty sure this is our answer!  Tomorrow we’ll check our chimney for a nest!  

With all the things you said about the bird and how it got into your house, Chimney Swift is really the only bird that makes sense for your location.

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14 hours ago, Pama said:

My husband caught the same guy, or one just like it this morning, also at a screened open window.  He had nothing to add to my description, I’m afraid. We absolutely have no idea how these sweet little guys got in our house!

Did you mean they were clinging to the screen?  That's totally consistent with Chimney Swift.

Chimney Swifts have small bills and look kind of flat-headed and brainless (no offense, swifts!).

Bird length measurements are made on museum specimens stretched "with reasonable force", I believe, so the birds may look a little smaller than the measurements suggest.

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