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Not a single great egret chick survived to fledge from the 32 nests built during the summer at Audubon Canyon Ranch’s Bolinas Lagoon preserve, where they lay their eggs in redwood trees whose tops are rounded from decades of nesting. Scientists believe raptors, including a growing population of bald eagles, may have spooked some birds into other nesting sites and pillaged the young of others.    David Briggs

The nesting season at the Martin Griffin Preserve just north of Stinson Beach started as most seasons do: the great egrets descended in April with their spindly legs, svelte necks and creamy plumage. In Picher Canyon on Bolinas Lagoon, they courted, bonded and began building nests in the tops of coast redwoods to cradle their turquoise eggs.

But in May . . .