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What Should Chicago’s New Piping Plover Chicks Be Named? A Contest Is Taking Suggestions

Suggested names for Monty and Rose's new chicks must reflect Chicago's "heritage, culture and diversity," according to the birder group.

Piping Plovers at Montrose Beach in 2019.
Tamima Itani/Illinois Ornithological Society
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UPTOWN — Chicago’s favorite pair of endangered Great Lakes piping plovers, Monty and Rose, have successfully hatched three very fluffy chicks at their nest in Montrose Beach.

Now a contest is seeking to give the baby birds names as memorable as their parents’.

The Chicago Ornithological Society has launched a contest to name the three piping plover chicks that have called Montrose Beach home since they hatched in mid-June. Entries to the contest must include names that reflect Chicago’s “heritage, culture and diversity,” according to the ornithological society.

Name suggestions can be submitted in English here and in Spanish here.

Monty and Rose made Chicago headlines in 2019, when the pair successfully nested at Montrose Beach, the first time their species had done so in 50 years. Their decision to nest at Montrose Beach kicked off a preservation effort that ended in the cancellation of a major concert planned for the park.

The bird couple returned to Chicago this summer and were first spotted in May, delighting birders who wondered if the couple would return to their previous nesting ground.

By late May, eggs were already spotted in the birds’ nest, with wildlife officials predicting a mid-June hatch date.

Four chicks hatched on June 18, but one of the chicks did not survive, according to the blog Chicago Piping Plovers.

The three remaining chicks are healthy and living their best life on Montrose Beach, according to the blog. Volunteers banded the chicks on June 29, so they are now individually recognizable.

That means it’s time to give the birds names.

“We would like to give each chick a name before they leave on their southern migration,” the Ornithological Society said in a statement.

The Great Lakes piping plover population, once down to fewer than 20 pairs, has grown to around 70 breeding pairs thanks to recovery efforts.

WTTW first reported the news of the naming contest.

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