• Tufted-Puffin-SE-Farallon-Island

California is home to a diverse population of amazing seabirds. The Seabird Protection Network helps seabirds thrive by sharing tips with coastal and ocean users on how to protect seabirds. Stay seabird aware while you are boating, hiking, paddling or flying along the coast!

Seabirds gather in large groups on offshore rocks, cliffs and islands, to nest and raise their young. These large colonies are found all along the California coast. Find a colony near you! (6.05 MB PDF). Seabirds can react when people, boats or aircraft get too close to them. Too close means your presence may be interrupting their feeding or resting behaviors, or maybe interfering while they are caring for their chicks.

Did you know...

Disturbances to seabirds during breeding season can:
  • Scare birds off their nests
  • 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
  • Cause chicks to drown when they are forced to leave the nest too soon.

View our recent discussions:

Who Is Really Whale Watching?

Posted in Boater, Discussion, Marine Mammal, Whales | 1 Comment

Explaining disturbance to the public

I work on reaching out to target audiences – pilots, boaters and paddlers – about how to avoid disturbance to seabirds on the California coast. One of the big challenges is explaining why flushing birds can be a problem. For most people, seeing birds fly…

Posted in Aircraft, Boater, Discussion, Kayaker, Seabirds | Leave a comment

When to draw the line between research and protection

I run a marine debris program that performs monthly surveys, with the help of trained volunteers, at beach sites along the coast. During the winter months we often come in contact with elephant seals at our survey plots.  Recently I was joining my volunteers during…

Posted in Beach Goers, Discussion, Marine Mammal | Leave a comment

Saying Something Takes Courage…

I have the pleasure of working at the north end of Crissy Field and today, while out for a lunch break, I witnessed 5 young boys approximately 9 years of age throwing rocks at gulls. The gulls were floating in the water near the shoreline…

Posted in Beach Goers, Discussion, Seabirds | Leave a comment