UPTOWN — The piping plover family at Montrose Beach is smaller than it was earlier this summer, but the remaining chicks will get named ahead of their upcoming migration south for the winter.
Monty and Rose, Chicago’s favorite pair of endangered migratory birds, successfully hatched four piping plover chicks at Montrose Beach this summer for the third consecutive year. But the bird couple’s efforts were not without trials and tribulations — and ultimately tragedy.
Two of the birds’ chicks have died, said Edward Warden, president of the Chicago Ornithological Society.
“We’ll never know for sure, but the most likely culprit is predators,” Warden said in an email. “So that leaves us with two young birds to name.”
The names of the two surviving chicks will be publicly announced 5 p.m. Friday at Montrose Beach. The ceremony also will be live streamed on the Chicago Piping Plover Facebook page. More information can be found here.
Like in previous years, names for the chicks were submitted by Chicago-area residents and selected by a committee made up of preservationists and volunteers who watch over the birds at Montrose.
The naming ceremony is taking place as the young plovers are expected to successfully fledge in the coming days, Warden said. “Fledging” is when a young bird grows wings capable of flying before migrating for their winter habitat. (Monty and Rose usually spend the winter in Florida and Texas.)
Monty and Rose’s first nest this summer was attacked by a skunk, which ate the birds’ eggs.
The plover chick was returned to the family at Montrose Beach in early July. But some time after that, two chicks perished. Piping plovers are a federally protected species.
Some of Monty and Rose’s chicks are now making news of their own. Nish, one of Monty and Rose’s chicks born last year at Montrose, has landed and nested near Toledo, Ohio. It is the first time plovers have nested in Ohio in 83 years, according to the Chicago Tribune.
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