Coastal visitors in the Bay Area are urged to avoid disturbing seabirds as their breeding season gets underway.
Boaters, paddlers and small aircraft pilots are being asked by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary to avoid disturbing nesting seabirds.
Seabirds favor the protection of rugged coastal cliffs and islands near the shore in areas such as Point Reyes National Seashore and the Marin Headlands in the north and the Farallon Islands and Devil's Slide Rock in the south, according to NOAA.
Seabirds spend most of their time at sea but come to the coast to rest, nest and raise their chicks. Colonies of seabirds are drawn to fish-rich waters that also attract fishermen.
Seabirds are known to neglect their young if disturbed repeatedly and may abandon a colony altogether.