URGENT: how to free a bird from a fireplace!!!

Hi I have never used a fireplace and never needed one but an old house I bought has one in it. I have not moved into it yet and are updating it here and there.
I was working on removing some wood paneling this afternoon and I heard some bird sounds. It seemed to come from the inside? I ignored it and then I heard it again, and from the direction of the fireplace. I walked over to the fireplace and I saw two birds, one was standing at the bottom of the fireplace and one was laying at a corner - dead.
I opened the doors and windows and went to get the live one, he freaked and started to fly around and I lead her to the doors and he flew out. I then took the dead one and disposed of it. Then I heard more bird songs. I stucked my head and looked up the chimney and it's dark. Could the birds be coming from the chimney? Isn't it supposed to be closed? I think there are more birds up there but can't find their way out and they won't come down until they are exhausted or near dead.
What should I do to free them? or should I assume that if they can find their way in they should be able to find their way out? That dead bird obviously did not.
Help!
MC
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Temporarily take the stack or screen off the chimney top, so the birds can escape, then close the hamper at the fireplace, so they cannot come into the house.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
MiamiCuse wrote:

There may be some chicks in the nest who are unable to get out. Do what Roger advised, and be advised the one that flew out the window should be able to re-gain entry. If the male was the dead one, the female may stay with the chicks and die of starvation. I would closely monitor the situation and possibly call an expert exterminator to safely move the nest.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
MC - It sounds like you have no damper on this fireplace if the birds were just all of a sudden in your hearth. I would go to the roof and inspect the cap. It is likely that there is no screen or a rotted out screen that needs some work. By this rooftop inspection You will also probubly find out if you are dealing with a nest or a couple of curiouse birdies. If the roof is a steep pitch or not easily reachable be sure to hire a chimney sweep to do the inspection. Considering the birds came right through you may want to consider a chimney balloon to plug the flue to keep from loosing heat through the open fireplace and to block the bird noise.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.