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Sad News From Plover Watch: One Piping Plover Chick Has Died, Leaving Two Chicks Remaining

The chick was rushed to the Lincoln Park Zoo after plover watchers noticed strange behavior. It did not survive despite conservationist's best efforts.

Although there were three Piping Plover chicks, one has died after being transported to the Lincoln Park Zoo.
Scott Judd
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MONTROSE BEACH — Although Monty and Rose, the two Great Lakes Piping Plovers who have nested at Montrose Beach, have laid eight eggs, only two plover chicks remain.

After the first clutch of four eggs turned out not to be viable, and a second clutch of four eggs yielded three chicks, one chick has died.

The rare pair of Piping Plovers are being watched closely by environmentalists, who worked to have Mamby on the Beach moved to keep their habitat save. The festival was ultimately canceled.

After plover watchers noticed a chick acting strangely over the weekend, they got permission to retrieve the chick, which was transported to the Lincoln Park Zoo.

Jill Niland, member of the Chicago Ornithological Society, confirmed the news Monday.

She said yesterday a plover watcher “got permission from [Fish and Wildlife Services]” to retrieve the chick after it was acting strangely.

The plover chick was moved to Lincoln Park Zoo where, despite the best efforts of conservationists, the chick died.

The Lincoln Park Zoo pathologist will now conduct a necropsy of the chick in hopes that they can better understand the circumstances surrounding the sudden change in health, according to Rachel Torbert, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

It is not unusual for plover chicks not to all survive after hatching. Out of a clutch of eggs only about 1.5 survive.

“That would still be great if we get two [chicks to survive],” she said. “These things happen.”

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