The news was announced Friday evening on social media: “We are saddened to share that today Monty passed away unexpectedly. We will share more as we learn more.”
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 will 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.”
It wasn’t clear where Monty died, but he was known to hang out at Montrose Beach on the Lake Michigan lakefront.
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.