UPTOWN — A week after one of Chicago’s two beloved Great Lakes piping plovers died suddenly at Montrose Beach comes a bright spot: One of their chicks is alive and well and hanging out in Minnesota.
Imani, a chick born to Monty and Rose last year, was spotted this week in Duluth, Minnesota. The (most likely) male appears to be making it his summer nesting home after wintering in the South.
Imani was one of two chicks born last year to Monty and Rose, the piping plovers who captured Chicago’s heart after choosing Montrose Beach as their summer nesting grounds in 2019. It was the first time the rare species of piping plover nested in Chicago in five decades.
In their third summer at Montrose, Monty and Rose laid a total of eight eggs but only Imani and his sibling Siewka survived.
The baby birds’ names were chosen in a Chicago Audubon Society naming contest. Imani is Swahili for “faith,” Siewka (pronounced shiv-KA) is the Polish name for plover.
The name “Imani” was submitted by plover volunteer Dori Levine in hopes of having faith in the longtime survival of the species.
After growing strong enough to leave Montrose Beach, Imani spent a few days at Waukegan Beach and 63rd Beach before presumably heading South, said Tamima Itani, volunteer organizer with the group Chicago Piping Plovers.
Imani had not been seen after his visit to 63rd Street Beach until Monday, when he was spotted in Duluth, Itani said.
Minnesota is not a common piping plover nesting ground. Plovers once nested near Duluth Harbor throughout the 1970s and 1980s but the local population of the species is nearly at zero, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
“I was thrilled to hear about Imani and definitely surprised about the location,” Imani said.
The good news about Imani comes after his father, Monty, died last week at his summer home of Montrose Beach.
A memorial has been set for Monty and Montrose Beach. Rose, meanwhile, has not been spotted in Chicago or elsewhere this summer.
Some of Monty and Rose’s chicks are now making news of their own. Nish, another of Monty and Rose’s chicks, 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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