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A short about Monty and Rose, a pair of endangered piping plovers, and the birds of Montrose Point in Chicago.
83 backers pledged $5,480 to help bring this project to life.
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When I found myself in a career transition last year, I started birding more frequently at one of my favorite places, Montrose Point on the North Side of Chicago, which is perhaps a top-five birding locale nationally. Among the many birds passing through nearby Montrose Beach Dunes was a piping plover, Dodger, who spent most of the winter at the point. In fact, Dodger rang in 2019 at the point, the latest winter record for a piping plover in Illinois.

Dodger, aka Petey
Dodger, aka Petey

In May, I took a somewhat unexpected trip to northern Michigan. It just so happened that my destination was steps from a beach hosting several piping plover nests. Here's a shot I took of one of those nesting birds.

A nesting piping plover near Glen Arbor, Mich.
A nesting piping plover near Glen Arbor, Mich.

Then something truly miraculous happened at Montrose -- a pair of endangered piping plovers began nesting there this June, the first nesting pair in Chicago in at least 64 years. Monty and Rose set up in one of the busiest areas of one of the busiest beaches in Chicago.  

Rose and Monty (image courtesy Tamima Itani)
Rose and Monty (image courtesy Tamima Itani)

I am launching this Kickstarter to get the funding to film and edit the short documentary, "Monty & Rose: The Endangered Piping Plovers of Montrose Point." The documentary will not result in any profits for me and will be used to raise awareness of the plovers and the conservation of Montrose Beach Dunes and Montrose Point. As of now, we have a short clip reel, featuring Monty, Rose and other birds and an interview with Chicago Ornithological Society President Carl Giometti. 

Monty and Rose with Lake Michigan in the background.
Monty and Rose with Lake Michigan in the background.

If/when I have the funding, I would set up interviews with more birders and share further dimensions of the story. We also would have the budget for professional graphics, production, editing and possibly music.

Note: There has been quite a bit in the news lately about the plovers in relation to a concert planned for Montrose in August. The goal here is to lift the narrative above the concert issues and create something lasting to benefit the birds of this special site on the North Side of Chicago. 

Risks and challenges

The biggest risk to completing this project is funding. This already is a slim budget, though I believe we can create a quality video with it. As with any filming outdoors, there are risks related to the weather that could impact timing.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Name listing in credits

    Have your name listed with other supporters in the final film. Receive exclusive updates from the filmmakers.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Sticker and name listing in film credits

    Get a Montrose Point commemorative sticker and have your name listed in the credits of the film. Receive exclusive updates from the filmmakers.

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    40 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Happy hour with the filmmakers

    Join us for happy hour at a nearby brewery to celebrate Monty, Rose and the birds of Chicago. Receive a commemorative sticker and have your name listed with other supporters in the final film. Receive exclusive updates from the filmmakers.

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    23 backers
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Guided tour of Montrose Point

    More than 340 bird species have been identified at Chicago's Montrose Point. Take a tour of this famed birding destination with a "Montrose regular." Receive a commemorative sticker and have your name listed with other supporters in the final film. Receive exclusive updates from the filmmakers and an invitation to happy hour event.

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    2 backers
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Funding period

- (25 days)