Letters to the Editor

Dogs can scare nesting birds | Letter

A running happy dog is a truly sweet sight. But during bird migratory and fledging periods, they can do irreparable harm to a species’ habits and habitat. The past two months at Fern Cove have seen flocks of migrating waterfowl, shore birds, osprey and two newly-fledged eaglets whose first shaky flights land them on the beach where they ratchet up their nerve for the trip back to the nest.

Recently, I watched a Cove visitor’s three off-leash dogs chase the eaglets into the brush and then scatter a group of brants who were feeding before continuing their migration. One dog’s person reassured me that her dog “never catches one.” A bird that has to expend energy avoiding dogs after flying thousands of miles (with thousands more to go in some cases) is a bird at risk.

Flock sizes have diminished in the years we have lived here. I’m sure there are a lot of reasons for this. There are also simple things we can do to mitigate that trend. Most Vashon dog lovers I know love their pets and also care deeply about the environment. In this spirit, and for the birds, please keep your dog on a leash in sensitive areas.

— Kate Thompson




We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the Oct 19
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates