Bird Migration

Chicago experiences piping plover fever as Imani, Searocket welcome chicks

The chicks have hatched at Montrose Beach in recent days, one of two broods in the Chicago area

Chicago’s birding community is atwitter as celebrity piping plover couple Imani and Searocket have welcomed a brood of chicks to the shores of Montrose Beach.

According to officials with Chicago Piping Plover Watch, who chronicle the plover adventures on social media, all four eggs have hatched on the beach, with the chicks seen feeding around the shores of Lake Michigan in recent days.

The Chicago Park District expressed its excitement over the news, saying it will continue its work of protecting the critically endangered birds.

“The Chicago Park District will continue to work with partners to monitor the protected fenced area near their nest to ward off and deter predators from approaching,” the district said in a statement.

Imani was one of two chicks that hatched in 2021. His parents Monty and Rose became a citywide sensation when they nested at Montrose Beach in 2019, and returned there for several years.

Monty returned to Montrose Beach in 2022 but died after contracting a respiratory infection. His partner Rose did not return that year and has not been seen since, according to officials.

Imani meanwhile returned each year after his birth, but was unsuccessful in attracting a mate in the last two summers. Searocket, who was born and raised in captivity, was released at Montrose Beach in 2023 and returned earlier this year.

Now the pair has four little chicks to chase after, delighting birdwatchers and naturalists alike.

The area around the beach has been renamed the Monty and Rose Wildlife Habitat, and was dedicated in their honor in 2024, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Contact Us