One of Chicago’s most beloved piping plovers, Monty, has died suddenly, a Twitter account announced on Friday.
“We are saddened to share that today Monty passed away unexpectedly. We will share more as we learn more,” Chicago Piping Plovers said in a tweet Friday night.
Monty was spotted earlier this season at Montrose Beach in Chicago, where he and fellow piping plover Rose have called home for the past few years. However, Rose has not been seen since last season.
Monty and Rose are two of approximately 75 pairs of Piping Plovers currently living in the Great Lakes region. The highly endangered birds have delighted birdwatchers for years and prompted authorities to take action to protect them ever since.
Monty’s return, along with the roost stop made by another piping plover at Rainbow Beach, has encouraged wildlife experts to believe there may be additional places for the birds to rest and potentially breed. in the city.
Wildlife expert Armand Cann urged residents to take steps to protect the birds, which are sensitive to noise and other factors. Once breeding birds begin to arrive, residents are urged to treat breeding areas with respect and keep a respectful distance.
Earlier Friday, the Chicago Piping Plovers tweeted out a proclamation from Illinois Governor JB Pritzker declaring Saturday Illinois Bird Day. The new holiday coincides with World Migratory Bird Day, which occurs on the second Saturday in May in Canada and the United States.