Memorial planned for Chicago's beloved Piping Plovers Monty and Rose

A memorial is planned for Monty and Rose — the pair of rare birds that captured the hearts of Chicagoans.

On Tuesday, the group called "Chicago Piping Plovers" announced a commemoration will take place at Montrose Beach on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

The remembrance is for Monty, who died this past Friday, and his partner Rose whose whereabouts are unknown. The couple had made Montrose Beach their summer residence.

The group says it will be a simple gathering to support each other in the loss and to honor the lives of Monty and Rose by promoting conservation.

Monty returned to Montrose Beach in mid-April 2022 after first arriving in 2021 with his mate, Rose.

Chicago Park District spokeswoman Tamima Itani of the Chicago Piping Plovers — a collaboration among the Chicago Audubon Society, the Chicago Ornithological Society and the Illinois Ornithological Society — said Monty died Friday afternoon.

"He was observed gasping for air before dropping and passing away," said Itani.


Monty was taken to Lincoln Park Zoo, where he would be tested. Results are expected in about a week, Itani told the Chicago Tribune.

"Monty and Rose captured our hearts in a way very few beings do," Itani said. "Monty will be very sorely missed."

Monty and Rose were the first Piping Plover couple to shack up in the city since the 1950s, and their return helped sustain the population of the rare bird.

Also, last month, another Piping Plover was spotted at Rainbow Beach on Chicago's South Side.

Associated Press contributed to this report.