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Lincoln Park Zoo welcomes baby piping plover

The zoo put the egg in a hatcher after the parents, Rose and Monty, abandoned it.

A piping plover hatched at Lincoln Park Zoo on Saturday, July 10, 2021.
A piping plover hatched at Lincoln Park Zoo on Saturday.
Sunny Nelson/Lincoln Park Zoo

An endangered piping plover chick has hatched at Lincoln Park Zoo.

Chicago’s most famous bird parents, Monty and Rose, welcomed three new chicks into the world earlier this month at Montrose Beach Dunes Natural Area. But when Monty and Rose decided to dote on the fluffy new arrivals, they abandoned a fourth, unhatched egg.

So the folks at Lincoln Park Zoo moved in.

“After spending a day closely monitored at the zoo in a hatcher, the chick hatched July 10 and appeared strong, healthy and vocal,” according to a statement from the zoo.

The newest chick has now been returned to its parents, where Rose immediately began caring for it, the zoo said.

“We are honored to play a part in the recovery and conservation efforts of these incredible plovers,” said Sunny Nelson, the Hope B. McCormick Curator of Birds and Wildlife Policy. “We are cautiously optimistic but remain hopeful the chick will thrive alongside its parents.”

The new parents lost their first four eggs this year to a skunk attack but re-nested shortly after and laid the new eggs.

Earlier this year, the Chicago Park Distract expanded the Montrose Beach Dunes Natural Area an additional 3.1 acres to provide more permanent protection for the piping plovers and other endangered wildlife. The natural area is a prime bird watching spot covered daily by birders.

Piping plovers that have nesting success at one site tend to come back to the same place to nest again, according to the Illinois Ornithological Society.

Piping plover mates Rose and Monty at Montrose Beach
Piping plover mates Rose and Monty welcomed a new member of the family after an egg they abandoned was hatched at Lincoln Park Zoo on Saturday.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times file