CHICAGO — Monty and Rose’s fourth piping plover chick hatched this weekend at Lincoln Park Zoo.
The beloved Great Lakes piping plovers’ other three chicks hatched last week, and the birds turned their attention to raising them by Friday and stopped incubating their fourth egg, according to a Lincoln Park Zoo news release. Experts removed that final egg and brought it to the zoo, where it hatched Saturday.
The chick appeared “strong, healthy and vocal,” according to the zoo. It was evaluated and returned to Monty and Rose at Montrose Beach, and Rose immediately began caring for her youngest.
“We are cautiously optimistic but remain hopeful the chick will thrive alongside its parents,” said Sunny Nelson, the zoo’s curator of birds and wildlife policy.
This season’s successful hatching marks the third-straight year Monty and Rose have produced offspring at the popular lakefront destination.
The site of plover chicks is welcomed news for their watchers, as Monty and Rose suffered a serious setback in earlier efforts to nest this year.
The couple returned to Montrose Beach for the third straight summer, and nested and produced three eggs in May. In early June, a skunk was able to reach into the wire cage and grab the eggs before making off with and eating them.
Monty and Rose made a new nest on the beach a week later and produced four more eggs.
Now, wildlife volunteers will turn their efforts to keeping the beach as free of predators as possible.
The chicks will have more room to roam free of humans this year, as the Chicago Park District fenced off a large part of the new dunes protected area for the plover family.
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