The Bay Area is heavenly for birdwatchers and nature-lovers and when it comes to loud as hell breeding colonies of birds, we’re top-notch and varied. We’ve got Pt. Reyes, the Marin Headlands, the Farallon Islands, and Devil’s Slide Rock, which makes up the Gulf of the Farallones.
But the Seabird Protection Network urges all of you who are seeking fun on the coasts to please, please leave the birds alone: they’re just not fans of guests.
Unsurprisingly, seabirds spend most of their time at sea but rest, nest, and raise their kids on shore. Colonies of several hundred thousand may form adjacent to fish-rich ocean waters that also attract fishermen, boaters, pilots, birdwatchers and other wildlife enthusiasts.
Seabirds will neglect their young if disturbed repeatedly, and may abandon a colony altogether, Mary Jane Schramm, spokesperson for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of National Marine Sanctuaries says.
Disturbances to seabirds during breeding season (happening now!) can also dislodge eggs and chicks from nest sites, allow predators access to eggs and chicks, lead to deaths when eggs and chicks are exposed to heat and cold, and cause chicks to drown when they are forced to leave the nest too soon. Do you want that on your conscience? I didn’t think so.
Not sure how to act around coastal birds? The sanctuary has information and tips for seabird dos and don’ts available.