The legend of Monty the piping plover continues to grow with news of his latest astounding feat: a 1,100-mile flight completed in just two days.
The patriarch of Chicago’s plover family was seen taking off from Montrose Beach at 7:15 a.m. Saturday and was spotted at his winter home near Galveston, Texas, a mere 53 hours later. Thanks to the telltale bands on his legs, Monty was identified by observers from the American Bird Conservancy, who shared a photo with Chicago’s plover monitors.
Monty’s partner, Rose, began her migration weeks ago and tends to head for winter grounds in Florida. In plover families, the female adult leaves the nest first. The male’s departure is followed by that of the chicks when they’re strong enough to make the long journey south.
The couple’s surviving chicks, Imani and Siewka, have been taking progressively longer practice flights, according to monitors.
Despite spending their winters hundreds of miles apart, Monty and Rose amazingly arrive at Montrose Beach within days of each other in the spring.
Yesterday, Monty the Piping Plover was spotted on his winter beach in Texas! Not only was it clearly a safe flight but a fast one too, having been seen in Chicago less than 53hrs beforehand! pic.twitter.com/qghQLVyLUy
— Chicago Piping Plovers (@ChicagoPiping) August 17, 2021