Monday, July 13, 2020

Monty and Rose Now Have Offspring: Hazel, Esperanza, and Nish

"Hazel." -- Photo is from the Chicago Piping Plovers website,
which tells you all you want to know about Monty and Rose and their adventures.

Monty and Rose, the rare and famous piping plovers for whom Montrose Beach was partially vacated last year so their babies could hatch, are once again new parents. They returned to the beach in 2020, and four new plover-ettes hatched on June 18th, three of whom have survived.

The Chicago Audubon Society, the Illinois Ornithological Society, and the Chicago Ornithological Society sponsored a contest to name the newbies, and the winning entries were announced this weekend:
  • HAZEL, in honor of Hazel M. Johnson, an environmental activist who lived in Altgeld Gardens. Along with a young activist named Barack Obama, she fought and succeeded in having asbestos removed from Altgeld Gardens. She is known as the Mother of the environmental justice movement.
  • ESPERANZA, meaning "hope," is a reminder that even in troubled times like 2020, there is still perseverance in the face of long odds, like those faced by the piping plovers. Monty and Rose have added five new plovers to their species' dwindling numbers, which is a pretty hopeful sign for a group that was down to only 70 or so mating pairs last year.
  • NISH, "to honor the Potowatomi heritage of our region. Nish was selected to highlight the direct relationship and contributions of The Council of the Three Fires (Potawatomi, Ojibwa, and Odawa) to what is now modern-day Chicago.  Nish is a colloquial expression for Nishnabe’k (Potawatomi) and Anishinaabe (Ojibwa and Odawa)." 
All the chicks have been banded so they can be tracked through their migration.

You can read the press release by the CAS here.

The summer is still young, and who knows? Monty and Rose may just add to their winning streak and have another nest full. It's not like anyone is there to interrupt the love birds.

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