CHICAGO (CBS) — Monty and Rose, a pair of Great Lakes piping plovers that have nested at Montrose Beach the last three years, are about to be parents again, after Park District officials spotted three eggs at their breeding grounds along the lakefront.

The Park District said their small nest is located in the sparsely vegetated sand within the 3.1 acres added to the Montrose Beach Dunes Natural Area last month. Their eggs are expected to hatch in about a month.

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Last month, the Chicago Park District added three acres to a protected area along the beach, allowing the birds to spread their wings.

That means some beach volleyball nets had to go.  But bird lovers hope this will encourage the plovers to stick around.

(Source: Chicago Park District)

When Monty and Rose chose to mate in Chicago in 2019, they were the first plovers to nest here since 1955.

It forced the park district to move beach volleyball games and cancel a music festival.

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The endangered plovers have nested at Montrose Beach for the past three summers. Park District officials said Monty spent the winter in Texas and Rose spent the winter in Florida. When they returned this spring, Park District officials fenced off their nesting area to protect the endangered birds from potential predators as they recovered from their long migration.

(Source: Chicago Park District)

They will be able to move freely in and out of their nesting area as they take turns nurturing the eggs.

USDA Wildlife Services biologists installed cameras to help monitor conditions at the nest.

Meantime, the Chicago Park District is working with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to craft a long-term plan for protecting the nesting area while reopening public access to the rest of the dunes and beach area.

Monty and Rose also raised three chicks at Montrose Beach last summer, and two in 2019.

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(Source: Chicago Park District)

CBS 2 Chicago Staff