It is now September 2018 and the egrets are gone. Their Monterey pine is dead and scheduled for removal soon. The egrets will need a new tree.
The tree stands like a sculpture with its limbs holding empty nests. It gave us one last great, highly-visible breeding season. It gloriously finished its life cycle.
Once almost extinct for their feathers, egrets were slaughtered by the millions in their nesting colonies. These magnificent creatures had a bounty placed on their feathers for the wildly popular fashion trend in hats decorated with feathers, nests, eggs, wings and whole birds. An ounce of feathers surpassed the value of an ounce of gold. This slaughter awakened citizens from all walks of life. In 1918 landmark national protection was passed: the Migratory Bird Protection Act. Its centenary is celebrated this year, 2018.
In the spring the egrets will return. The tree will be gone. They may or may not pick a new tree, here, at the calm hub of the bustling Bay Area. The nests may be retrieved and moved to help lure the egrets to a new nearby tree. Stay tuned for news and updates.