Imani, one of two chicks hatched by Monty and Rose in 2021, returned to Montrose Beach this week. Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

UPTOWN — A Great Lakes piping plover chick who was born at Montrose Beach has made his way home after a winter down south and a slight detour to Minnesota.

Imani, born last year to famous parents Monty and Rose, has been spotted at Montrose Beach, the volunteer group Chicago Piping Plovers announced Monday.

The 1-year-old plover was photographed Monday at Montrose Beach, just days after he was spotted in Duluth, Minn. Imani was first seen this nesting season in Duluth after spending his first winter in an unknown southern state.

After flying from Duluth to Chicago, bird watchers are not sure exactly where Imani will end up mating and nesting this year.

“Just visiting? We are not sure. For now we are reveling in the moment,” Chicago Piping Plovers said in a tweet. “If you visit Montrose Beach, please remember to give Imani his space.”

His return to Chicago brings a bolt of good news following the May 13 death of his father, Monty. A Monty memorial is planned for 6 p.m. Wednesday at Montrose Beach.

Imani was one of two chicks born last year to Monty and Rose, the piping plovers who captured Chicago’s heart after choosing Montrose Beach as their summer nesting grounds in 2019. It was the first time the rare species of piping plover nested in Chicago in five decades.

In their third summer at Montrose, Monty and Rose laid a total of eight eggs but only Imani and his sibling Siewka survived.

The baby birds’ names were chosen in a Chicago Audubon Society naming contest. Imani is Swahili for “faith,” Siewka (pronounced shiv-KA) is the Polish name for plover.

The name “Imani” was submitted by plover volunteer Dori Levine in hopes of having faith in the longtime survival of the species.

Monty and Rose’s chicks are now named Siewka, left, and Imani. Credit: Courtesy Ann Gunkel/Judy Cheske

After growing strong enough to leave Montrose Beach, Imani spent a few days at Waukegan Beach and 63rd Beach before presumably heading south, said Tamima Itani, volunteer organizer with the group Chicago Piping Plovers.

Imani had not been seen after his visit to 63rd Street Beach until Monday, when he was spotted in Duluth, Itani said.

Minnesota is an uncommon summer nesting ground for plovers, according to the state’s department of natural resources.

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