Imani’s return to Montrose Beach on April 25 has all sorts of significance—he may be the only remaining offspring of Monty and Rose, he could bring nesting Piping Plovers back to Chicago, and he made it back after wintering more than a thousand miles away.
When Imani returned to Montrose Beach last year, he arrived on May 23. It ended up being too late to attract a female plover, though he ferociously guarded the beach and fended off many other species. Most all the other Piping Plovers had already passed through Chicago on their way to points north.
Imani learned from last year and made sure a late arrival didn’t happen this year. He arrived around the same time that Monty and Rose had arrived in the past. He stands a better chance of encountering a migrating female and a better chance of engaging in courtship. And indeed, that happened late last week when an unbanded female showed up at Montrose.
What might be most significant, though, is what Monty and Rose did as pioneers nesting at Montrose Beach from 2019 through 2021. They re-established Chicago as Piping Plover nesting territory after a 70-year hiatus. To Imani, having been hatched on Montrose, that’s all he’s really ever known. Chicago is his home, and he finds it just as enticing a place as anywhere on the Great Lakes.
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