4th rare piping plover chick hatches at Lincoln Park Zoo, reintroduced to parents at Montrose Beach

The endangered birds lost their first eggs of the season after a skunk ate them
CHICAGO (WLS) -- A fourth piping plover chick has successfully been hatched at the Lincoln Park Zoo.

The endangered Great Lakes piping plover couple, Monty and Rose, had three hatchlings at Chicago's Montrose Beach earlier this week.

In mid-June, a nest with four eggs was spotted, bringing a lot of excitement to the local bird-watching community.

Once the first chicks hatched, bird watchers said the adult pair turned their full attention to raising the three chicks and halted incubation on the remaining egg. That's when zoo officials and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) made the decision to remove the egg and bring it to the nearby facility to determine viability.

WATCH: Chicago Piping Plovers welcome new chicks
EMBED More News Videos

Chicago's rare piping plovers family is now a little bigger!



After spending a few days monitoring the egg, the chick emerged and appeared strong, healthy and vocal, zoo officials said.

Once the chick was reintroduced to Monty and Rose, officials said Rose immediately began brooding and caring for the chick.

"We are honored to play a part in the recovery and conservation efforts of these incredible plovers," said Hope B. McCormick Curator of Birds and Wildlife Policy Sunny Nelson. "We are cautiously optimistic but remain hopeful the chick will thrive alongside its parents."

The rare birds have received attention over the last few years for their nesting site on the north side of the city.

While this is great news, the Chicago piping plover couple had a rough start to the nesting season after a skunk snuck into their protected area and ate their first four eggs.

Days later, bird watchers noticed Monty and Rose had built a new nest and were successful at laying another egg.

Things also started to turn around for the pair when Nish, one of their 2020 chicks, was spotted with a mate and egg near Toledo, Ohio.

RELATED: Rare Montrose Beach piping plovers to be 'grandplovers' as chick Nish finds mate, nests in Ohio

Nish had apparently taken a liking to one of two Pennsylvania female piping plovers that was also been in the area.

The Great Lakes Piping Plover population, once down to less than twenty pairs, has rebounded, thanks to recovery efforts, to around 70 breeding pairs, the Chicago Park District said.

More information about the Great Lakes Piping Plover recovery effort is available at www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/pipingplover.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.