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Chicago Birders To Celebrate Piping Plover Day With Montrose Beach Cleanup

Events to celebrate Piping Plover Day will be held in Uptown, South Shore and Lincoln Square.

The Great Lakes Piping Plovers first clutch of eggs didn't make it. But they have a second clutch of eggs and birders are feeling hopeful.
Scott Judd
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UPTOWN — Chicago bird enthusiasts will celebrate the first ever Piping Plover Day in Illinois with a Montrose Beach cleanup Sunday and other bird-friendly events around the city.

Gov. JB Pritzker earlier this month proclaimed Monday “Piping Plover Day” in Illinois, celebrating the rare Great Lakes piping plovers’ successful nesting at Montrose Beach over the summer.

The piping plover is a federally protected species that is seldom seen in Illinois and, prior to this summer, had not nested in city limits since 1995. Pritzker proclaimed Monday as Piping Plover Day to celebrate the conservationists and volunteers who protected the birds — and even fought off the promoters of Mamby on the Beach music festival to help the birds stay safe.

Now, Chicago-area birders will celebrate the successful nesting with events this weekend and on Monday, including beach cleanups and bird walks.

“The success of the plovers is a direct result of the vision and hard work of many in the bird conservation community who spoke up for the needs of birds,” Judy Pollock, president of Chicago Audubon Society, said in a statement.

Volunteers will host a Montrose Beach cleanup from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday. On Monday’s Piping Plover Day, volunteers will host a 9 a.m. bird walk at South Shore Nature Sanctuary, 7059 S. South Shore Dr.

Also on Monday, volunteers will take to Waukegan Beach in Lake County from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. for a beach cleanup.The group will finish the day at Spiteful Brewing, 2024 W. Balmoral Ave. in Lincoln Square, for a toast to the Montrose Beach piping plovers from 4-6 p.m.

The public can join the volunteers at any of the above events. Information on how to RSVP to the events can be found here.

Those aren’t the only events celebrating Monty and Rose, the names bestowed on the piping plover parents who successfully bested two chicks at Montrose Beach.

Volunteer birder and Bob Dolgan not only helped ensure the birds’ safety, he documented their journey and the efforts by neighbors to save the birds. Dolgan produced a documentary on the topic, named “Monty and Rose.”

The film will have its premier on Monday at Lakeview’s Music Box Theatre, which is sold out. The only announced screening of the film that is not sold out is at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 11 Bezazian Library, 1226 W. Ainslie St. in Uptown.