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CHICAGO — Monty, the beloved piping plover who has made Chicago his summer home the last three years, has returned.

Recently, watchers have discovered new piping plovers, an endangered bird, coming back to Chicago beaches after a long winter.

Watchers have been patiently waiting to spot the return of Chicago’s most famous bird couple — Monty and Rose. The couple has graced Montrose Beach for the last three years.

On Thursday afternoon while covering the story, WGN News photojournalist Jason Vicks spotted the return of Monty first. WGN sent an image of him to the Ornithological Society, who confirmed the plover’s identify from his orange, purple and green bands.

Monty had been spotted last in Texas several days ago — but migrated north to arrive on a beautiful Chicago day.

“When they arrive, it is a big deal in Chicago,” a bird watcher named Amy Lardner said. “What it really celebrates is how conservation can make a difference

Last year, Monty and Rose had their nest attacked by a skunk. The skunk ate three eggs and destroyed the nest.

There have been no signs of Rose yet at Montrose Beach, but she is expected soon. There is a cleanup planned at Rainbow Beach this weekend to prepare for nesting season.