UPTOWN — Four piping plover chicks have now hatched at Montrose Beach in Monty and Rose’s nest.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Thursday the first chick hatched at the beach. Another three chicks have now hatched.
Great Lakes piping plovers are endangered and are a federally protected species. A “rotating crew of volunteer piping plover monitors” are helping to take care of the chicks at their lakefront home, according to the press release.
New videos show the baby plovers:
Monty and Rose were first spotted at Montrose Beach in May 2019. The two captivated the city and hatched two chicks that summer.
There are only 70 known pairs of Great Lakes piping plovers, which are rarely found in Illinois, according to the Illinois Ornithological Society. It had been 50 years since piping plovers had chosen to nest in city limits.
The two returned to the lakefront this May to lay their eggs. Experts hoped the stay at home order and the closure of the lakefront would mean less risk to the plovers and their nest.
The Lakefront Trail is set to reopen Monday, and visitors are urged to be mindful of the chicks.
Any sort of disruptions to the chicks can cause them to scatter and separate from the adults, opening them up to attacks from predators, Louise Clemency, the field supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said in the press release.
“Everyone can help by following guidance provided by the plover monitors on where the plover family currently is and how to observe them without putting them in danger,” Clemency said in the press release.
Monty and Rose have nested father from the beach and shoreline than last year. Predators have largely remained closer to the water and a jetty, away from the nest.
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