Great Backyard Bird CountSubmitted: 02/15/2013
Story By Melissa Constanzer

ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - You might not want to go out in the cold this weekend. But the DNR hopes you help them out. It's as simple as sitting at your window.

Today is the start of the Great Backyard Bird Count. It is a survey that takes place across the country. The count helps researchers at Cornell University track bird populations.

"You go to the Great Backyard Bird Count Website. And you download a form, and you keep track of how many birds you see at your feeder and you fill out the form and submit it," says Jeremy Holtz, DNR Wildlife Biologist.

Anyone can take part. All you need to know is the common birds that come to your yard. That information is easy to find.

"There are all sorts of resources available. The local library has bird guides. You can find all sorts of bird species information on the internet as well," says Holtz.

You can find a link to the Great Backyard Bird Count below.

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Great Backyard Bird Count

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RHINELANDER - When people think first responders, cops, firefighters and EMTs usually come to mind. 

But the true first responder is often the person they'll never meet.

It's Nicole Lea's job to be at her best when you're at your worst.

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RHINELANDER - The Northwoods Land Trust helps protect about 12,000 acres of natural lands in six northern Wisconsin counties.

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The Land Trust relies on the help of about 40 volunteers to accomplish its mission, volunteers like Nancy Richmond.

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RHINELANDER - Thanks to funds from one company, Wild Instincts in Rhinelander will get to expand its facility. The non-profit got a $4,400 Green Gift from Cellcom.

Wild Instincts was one of 22 organizations to get a 2016 Cellcom Green Gift. Cellcom gave almost $38,000 in funds out this year.

Wild Instincts has helped rehabilitate wildlife across the state since 2011. Director Mark Naniot explained that with a growing need to help animals comes a growing need for space.

The Green Gift program uses funds from Cellcom's cell phone recycling program to fund green non-profit initiatives.

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MADISON - Wisconsin may be the dairy state, but we've seen a decline in the number of dairy farms.

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About 94-thousand dairy herds were active in the state as of October 1st.

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Annual losses reached as high as 1-thousand in some years.

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Over 183,000 were cast statewide.

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ST. GERMAIN - Helping patients feel better comes first for one pharmacist in St. Germain, but every Wednesday in October these patients are returning the favor by buying her cupcakes for a cause.

People know to head to pharmacist Jennifer Hansen when they're sick; however, many of them also know they can walk out of St. Germain Pharmacy with one of her cupcakes for Down Syndrome Awareness month.

This is the fourth year Jennifer is baking the cupcakes for her sons' Lakeland Area Special Olympics team.

One of her sons has Down Syndrome and the other has Autism.

"It's not about disabilities or what they can't do. It is shining and highlighting what they can do and all the many things they can do," said Hansen.

Donations from the cupcakes allowed her kids and fellow teammates to get new uniforms and head to different tournaments around the state.

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Many of her customers ask about the cupcakes months in advance to make sure they can donate.

"I'll still do them as long as my oven keeps working and nothing else bad happens," said Hansen.

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Cupcake sales go through the end of October.

Jennifer also has cupcakes in exchange for donations in April for Autism Awareness Month.

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