CHICAGO — A piping plover has been spotted at Montrose Beach — and though the bird doesn’t appear to be Monty or Rose, the beloved bird couple could soon return.
The Wednesday sighting marks the second Great Lakes piping plover spotted in Chicago this week, as another bird was seen Tuesday at Rainbow Beach in South Shore.
The birds Chicagoans know and love — Monty or Rose — haven’t been seen yet, but it’s possible Monty is on his way back to Chicago, according to the Chicago Piping Plovers group that tracks the beloved birds.
The group identified the Rainbow Beach plover as a 5-year-old female called Of,bY:X,G. It has not yet shared the new Montrose plover’s identity, though it noted that plover is not banded.
The group’s members also shared an update on Twitter noting Monty has not been seen in Texas, where he traditionally makes his home during the winter, and the winds were “favorable for migration.”
“Our guy may be en route!” the group tweeted Wednesday.
Monty and Rose are a couple who stole Chicago’s heart when they first nested at Montrose Beach in 2019, becoming the first Great Lakes piping plovers to nest in the city since the ’50s. They’ve returned every year since to raise chicks.
The city has rallied around the plovers. A music festival that was supposed to happen in 2019 at Montrose Beach was canceled to ensure the birds would be protected. Bird watchers regularly keep guard over Monty and Rose at the beach and try to ensure their eggs don’t get eaten by other creatures.
Already, the Chicago Piping Plovers are looking for volunteers who can help them watch over Montrose Beach should Monty and Rose return here to nest this summer.
Bird lovers are hoping Of,bY:X,G will stick around at Rainbow Beach. They’re organizing a weekend cleanup of the beach to ensure it’s in good condition.
An RSVP is required to volunteer. For more information on the cleanup, click here.
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