Remarkably, people who let their dogs run free also tend to be very belligerent about their “right” to violate laws and to behave recklessly and dangerously. Keep your dogs on leashes or take them to dog parks. Period.
“A low level of disturbance doesn’t cause much problem when there is a dense understory,” [Gail Garber of HawksAloft] said.
But recent projects have removed invasive species, such as the salt cedar and Russian olive trees, and there are wide trails along the west side of the river, which encourage people to walk and bring their dogs, she said. The dogs that are walked off-leash are especially problematic for the birds, she said.
The relatively low density of birds in the area is not primarily caused by drought, she contended. There are about 270 species of birds that can be found throughout the bosque, including the mourning dove, black-chinned hummingbird and the bushtit, along with birds of prey, like the great horned owl and coopers hawks.
“Imagine if you are a bird that weighs 50 grams, with people and dogs everywhere and nowhere to hide and no food,” she said.