Clean Marine BC

Birds & their habitat

Western Sandpiper. Image: Michael Klotz, flickr

Image: Michael Klotz, flickr

Marine birds often nest on the ground or in burrows along the shoreline on islets and cliffsides. On top of the risk of pollution to these sensitive habitats, it’s also critical to avoid physical disturbance of these nesting zones.

Protect sensitive bird habitat

  • Avoid running motors in shallow waters, and anchor in a depth of at least 10 metres.
  • Minimize wake in or near sensitive habitat.
  • Avoid anchoring in shellfish, kelp and eelgrass beds, or use fixed moorings where possible.
  • Take care to avoid damaging sensitive habitat with dinghies, kayaks, or during other activities.
  • While it is impossible to keep all pollution out of the water, it is especially important to avoid any releases of wasteoilsewage, and soap or other toxic products around sensitive habitats.
  • Transport of invasive species is illegal in BC. Help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.
  • Follow BC Parks Marine Visitor Guide, which covers sensitive habitat including advice for boaters.

For the birds

  • Stay at least 100 metres from bird colonies.
  • Don’t allow pets ashore where they can disturb birds or nests, which can easily kill young birds.
  • Marine birds often nest on the ground or in burrows on small islets, cliffs and shorelines. These nest are difficult to see, so be careful.
  • Learn more about protecting migratory birds with Canadian Wildlife Services.