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WNIJ Perspectives
Perspectives are commentaries produced by and for WNIJ listeners, from a panel of regular contributors and guests. You're invited to comment on or respond to any Perspective on our Facebook page or through Twitter (@wnijnews), in keeping with our Discussion Policy. If you would like to submit your own Perspective for consideration, send us a script that will run about 90 seconds when read -- that's about 250 words -- and email it to NPR@niu.edu, with "Perspectives" in the subject line.

Perspective: The Continuing Saga Of Monty And Rose

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David Gunkel
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Monty, May 11, 2021

Monty and Rose are back.

And, no, I am not talking about the next season of some Netflix romantic comedy series you've never heard of. I am talking about the two Great Lakes Piping Plovers that have now returned to Chicago's lakefront for a third time.

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This is a remarkable success. The plovers, which had not nested in the Chicago region for close to 70 years, have called Montrose Beach home for the last two summers. The first year, their efforts produced two chicks. The second year, there were three. Now they're back. And like previous years, there is an army of dedicated human volunteers standing ready to watch over the birds -- helping to protect them from predators, off-leash dogs and stray volleyballs.

The return of Monty and Rose is definitely welcomed news and an indication that this endangered species could have a chance. But the success is fragile. These are small birds in a large and dangerous world. Balancing the competing interests of the human population of Chicago with two wild animals no larger than a baseball has been a real challenge. But it is a challenge we have met. And because of these efforts, the Great Lakes Piping Plover has a chance to once again establish a foothold on the banks of Lake Michigan in Chicago.

So I correct my opening statement. The story of Monty and Rose IS a love story, one that has captured the heart of the entire region and one that has now returned for a third season.

I’m David Gunkel, and that’s my Perspective.

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