Armand Cann, fish and wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, left, and Brad Semel, engaged species recovery specialist for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, walk along a protected site at Montrose Beach ahead of the release of three plovers on July 12, 2023. (Eunice Alpasan / WTTW News)

Three endangered piping plover chicks were released into the wild Wednesday at a protected site at Montrose Beach in an effort to aid in its species recovery. It marks the first time plovers have been released in the state.

Imani, photographed in April 2023 at Montrose Beach. (Courtesy of Tamima Itani)

Piping plovers might not be on the nest in Chicago this year, but 2023 is shaping up as a banner breeding year for the birds across the Great Lakes.

Imani, photographed in April 2023 at Montrose Beach. (Courtesy of Tamima Itani)

The two unidentified plovers — one male, one female — that had joined Imani at Montrose have flown the coop, temporarily dashing the hopes of plover monitors for a love match and successful nesting season in Chicago.

Imani at Montrose Beach, April 2023. (Courtesy of Matthew Dolkart)

There’s a love triangle brewing at Montrose Beach, where Imani the piping plover has been joined by a mystery bachelor and … a female.

Imani at Montrose Beach, April 2023. (Matthew Dolkart)

Chicago’s birders are celebrating the arrival of Imani at Montrose Beach. The piping plover is a 2021 chick of Monty and Rose.

Monty and Rose, memorialized in limestone rock along Chicago's lakefront. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The beloved duo live on in limestone, their instantly recognizable images carved into a block of the rock wall that separates the dunes from an adjacent paved path. They now join the thousands of modern-day “petroglyphs” that date back to at least the 1930s.

Supporters of Montrose Dunes Natural Area say the site looks neglected, with invasive species taking hold. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Some people are concerned about what they say are deteriorating conditions at the high-quality habitat where the endangered plovers Monty and Rose raised their three successive broods of chicks between 2019 and 2021. 

A memorial for Monty and Rose was held May 25, 2022, at Montrose Beach. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

On Wednesday evening, a memorial was held for the beloved piping plovers Monty and Rose, not so much to mourn the loss of the birds but to celebrate the wonder of their time in Chicago.

A file photo of a plover parent and chick. (Courtesy of Susan Szeszol)

Imani, born in 2021 to Monty and Rose, has been spotted at Montrose Beach after being sighted last week in Minnesota.

Plover parent and chick. (Courtesy of Susan Szeszol)

A week after suffering the devastating loss of Monty, one half of Chicago’s beloved piping plover power couple, the city’s birding community has cause for celebration: One of Monty and Rose’s 2021 chicks has been positively ID’d on a beach in Duluth, Minnesota.  

Piping plovers. (Joel Trick / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest)

The enthusiasm for the beloved duo is heartwarming but it’s also overwhelming and potentially dangerous for the birds, according to plover monitors. People should keep a distance of at least 30 feet from the plovers. 

A Great Lakes piping plover is captured in this file photo. (Vince Cavalieri / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Monty the piping plover has once again seemingly defied physics and returned to Chicago a mere day after reportedly leaving his wintering grounds in Texas.

A plover parent and chick at Montrose Beach in 2019, courtesy of the Shedd Aquarium. (Credit: Susan Szeszol)

Piping plovers are winging their way north and one has already been spotted at Rainbow Beach. Word is that Monty could be en route to Chicago.

A Great Lakes piping plover. (Vince Cavalieri / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

The patriarch of Chicago’s piping plover family was seen taking off from Montrose Beach on Saturday morning and was spotted at his winter home near Galveston, Texas, a mere 53 hours later.

Meet Imani, which means faith in Swahili. (Courtesy of Judy Cheske)

The newest members of Chicago’s growing piping plover family have names. Meet Siewka (pronounced Shivka), which is the Polish word for “plover,” and Imani, the word for “faith” in Swahili. 

(Courtesy Judy Cheske / Ann Gunkel)

The big reveal will take place at a beachside ceremony with representatives from the Chicago Piping Plovers Team and members of its name-selection committee. Find out how you can tune in virtually.