Monty and Rose have each traveled over a thousand miles to reach the Lake Michigan shore in Chicago – Piping Plovers have not nested there in some 70 years. With skycrapers in the background, Monty scratches a nest for Rose. But the beach is full of dangers – storms and high water levels, dogs, birds of prey, and most of all, people. Will Monty and Rose be able to hatch their chicks and keep them safe until they take their first flight?
Photo credit Sue Murphy
In June 2019, Tamima Itani found herself at Montrose Beach in Chicago, observing two Piping Plovers courting, mating and scratching a nest in the midst of a crowded public beach. She named the plovers Monty and Rose, and sprung into action to rally volunteers and watch over the nest, the first known nest in Chicago and Cook county in 71 years. Within days, one witty birder was referring to her as Plovermother and the name stuck.
As the summer unfolded, she came to learn her link to these two plovers went back to their hatch year.
Meet Plovermother here.