It’s breeding season for seabirds, who forgo Bliss Bar (can you tell the last time I went to pickup bars was 2002?) for “the protection of rugged coastal cliffs and offshore islands,” says a release sent by NOAA‘s Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.

For we in the Bay Area, this means seabirds “will form dense, noisy breeding colonies in areas such as Pt. Reyes and the Marin Headlands north of San Francisco, the Farallone Islands offshore, and Devil’s Slide Rock to the south.”

Those of you who like to play on or around coastal areas with your boats or paddle things or those surfboards with the parachute attached like some demented drag racer are reminded to leave nesting seabirds alone!

Seabirds, which completely unsurprisingly spend the majority of their time “at sea,” hit the coast to rest, nest, and have babies. Folks like the Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association totally get that those dense, noisy seabirdtowns can be of interest to “boaters, pilots, birdwatchers and other wildlife enthusiasts.”

Here’s the problem: NOAA says that “seabirds will neglect their young if disturbed repeatedly, and may abandon a colony altogether” which means that well meaning bird gawkers can do more harm than good.

If you’re an coastal-actifities type person, take a look at the Seabird Protection Network site to learn more about what you can do to avoid bugging these birds.


All photos: GFNMS Library

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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