A pair of endangered birds have recently been reported to have laid eggs at a Chicago beach, particularly at the Montrose Beach Dunes.

According to an ABC7 report, the Chicago Park District announced that the said pair of endangered birds, namely Monty and Rose, has produced three eggs at their Montrose Beach Dunes Natural Area breeding grounds on the north side of Chicago.

The tiny nest is placed in the thinly vegetated sand within a little bit more than three acres that were added to the said Chicago beach last month.

At present, the Park District is working with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources or IDNR, and the United States Fish and Wildlife, for the protection of the nest.

The news specified that part of shielding the nest comprises coming up with a plan of reopening public access to other parts of the dunes when it is harmless to do so.

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Science Times - Endangered Birds ‘Monty,’ ‘Rose,’ Lay Eggs at a Chicago Beach: Great Lakes Piping Plovers Expand Their Flock
(Photo: Peter Wilton on Wikimedia Commons)
The piping plover is a small-sized shorebird nesting out in the three distinct geographic populaces in the US including the shores of the Atlantic coast, the Great Plains states, and the shores of the Great Lakes.

Protecting the Rare Habitat

Upon the park district officials' arrival, they erected protective fencing surrounding the rare habitat to lower foot traffic while the birds recovered following a long migration and chose a nest location.

A similar Block Club Chicago report said a wire enclosure has been prepared to shield the nest, as well as the eggs from probable predators, like raccoon and skunks, while leaving adequate room for the said pair of endangered species to move freely in and out of the cage as they take turns in incubating their eggs and feed far from the nest, explained the officials.

Also according to the officials of the Park District, Rose, the other half of the pair, may be expecting an additional egg, as four others are the typical clutch size.

This is the third summer together of the Great Lakes piping plovers at the Chicago beach following their arrival within one day of each other. Yesterday, officials said Monty spent his winter in Texas. Rose, on the other hand, was spotted in Florida.

This pair of endangered birds had three chicks in 2020 at Montrose, and two chicks in 2019, the officials said. Essentially, the Great Lakes piping plover populace, which was once lesser than 20 pairs, has recovered and the officials are giving credit to the department's recovery initiatives. To date, there are approximately 70 breeding pairs.

Piping Plover

The piping plover, as described in the US Fish and Wildlife Service website, is a small-sized shorebird nesting out in the three distinct geographic populaces in the US including the shores of the Atlantic coast, the Great Plains states, and the shores of the Great Lakes.

Essentially, recovery efforts in Michigan, assisted by many volunteers, have helped the plover population to constantly increase. In 2008, 126 individuals or 63 breeding pairs had been recorded.

Out of these pairs that nested in Michigan, 10 were discovered outside the state, which included six pairs in Wisconsin and four in Canada.

Meanwhile, one breeding pair discovered was identified in the Great Lakes region of Canada, represented the first verified piping plover nest there in more than three decades. In 2008, several nesting pairs increased further to four.

Then, a year after, one pair nested on the Lake Michigan shoreline in Illinois, the first-ever nest there in three decades.

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