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Mamby festival may move from Montrose Beach to nearby park as 3 plover chicks hatch

Festival promoters released a plan to move the festival from the beach to the Montrose Recreational Area between Wilson and Lawrence avenues.

Mamby on the Beach; Piping Plover
Mamby organizers released a plan to move from Montrose Beach to an adjacent park if the nest of plovers remains.
Provided; Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Several endangered birds nesting on Montrose Beach appear to be winning a battle against the upcoming Mamby on the Beach music festival.

In a Chicago Park District meeting this month, festival promoters released a plan to move the festival, set for Aug. 23 and 24, from the beach to parkland between Wilson and Lawrence avenues, the Park District said in a statement.

The endangered and federally protected piping plovers prompting the move have been nesting on the beach for months — and more than doubled in number this week.

One plover chick hatched on the beach Wednesday night, and two others Thursday, according to the Chicago Ornithological Society. Their parents have been nicknamed Monty and Rose.

The Park District, which is responsible for issuing the festival’s permit, said it has been working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which could mandate a 1,000 meter buffer zone to protect the birds from concert noise.

“This plan addresses the concerns that have been raised by the community, particularly regarding the piping plovers,” the Park District said in its statement.

Jerry Mickelson, the head concert organizer of JAM Productions, told the Chicago Sun-Times in June that the festival would move to comply with the mandated buffer zone if the birds remained on the beach as the festival approached.

In June, the plover nest was flooded and its four eggs removed to Lincoln Park Zoo for safe keeping. The birds came back and made a new nest farther north on higher ground, and their eggs were returned.