The increasing development of offshore wind farms (OWFs) worldwide leads to possible conflicts with the ecological requirements of top predators that largely depend on offshore areas. Seabird species exhibit different behavioural reactions to OWFs, ranging from avoidance resulting in habitat loss, to attraction causing an increased risk of colliding with the turbines. We investigated how OWFs affected the densities and distributions of guillemots and kittiwakes breeding in the southern North Sea and if the effects varied among seasons using a ‘before–after control impact’ (BACI) analysis approach based on a large-scale and long-term dataset covering 14 years before and 3 years after the construction of OWFs. Guillemot relative density in the OWF decreased by 63% in spring, and by 44% in the breeding season. Kittiwake relative density in the OWF decreased by 45% in the breeding season, and not significantly by 10% in spring. We furthermore estimated the response radii to the OWF for both species and seasons, finding that guillemots showed a response radius of ~9 km in spring and kittiwakes a radius of ~20 km in the breeding season. The results underline the value of large-scale and long-term assessments considering seasonal variation throughout the yearly cycle. The here provided information on the seasonally different reactions of seabirds to OWFs adds substantially to our current knowledge and provides the necessary basis for reliable estimations of OWF effects on guillemots and kittiwakes. Such evaluations are urgently needed for future planning and management recommendations to decision-makers.