Wisconsin ranks second in the U.S. for bird watching
Story By Stephanie Fuerte
THREE LAKES - If you look out your window and see a bird, you might be a birder.
A recent U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service report ranked Wisconsin second in the U.S. in birders per capita. It ties with West Virginia at 33 percent and is just behind Vermont.
Bill Lamon is an avid birder and president of the Nicolet Bird Club of Three Lakes. He's one of more than 1.6 million birders statewide.
"I really became a bird watcher last year when I saw Sandhill Cranes doing their mating ritual," says Lamon. "When I saw that at Thunderlake Marsh, I thought there was something to be seen in bird watching."
Birders can go out to different hotspots like lakes or trails for their best chance to see certain kinds of birds. Since Wisconsin sits astride a major migratory pathway, it's home to one of the most diverse collection of birds in the country.
Lamon uses an app called iBird Pro to help him identify different birds. There are more than 400 species of birds found in Wisconsin.
But Lamon says you really only need one thing to become a birder.
"I've seen people use very expensive spotting scopes and photography equipment, which is also another branch of the birding experience, but a basic pair of binoculars is really all you need to get involved in the sport."
APPLETON - Many Wisconsin drivers who lose their driving privileges have continued to operate their vehicles and commit additional violations.
According to Wisconsin Department of Transportation data, there have been more than 57,000 convictions for operating while suspended, without a valid license or after revocation this year. That number follows last year's trend, when nearly 114,000 licensing-related convictions were reported.
During the first six months of 2014, more of the state's residents were convicted of driving with suspended licenses than speeding 11-19 mph over the limit.
TOMAHAWK - More than 50 fourth graders from Tomahawk learned about nature on Wednesday as part of long-lived education program. UW-Stevens Point staff at Treehaven host programs to teach elementary students about nature. The program has been around Tomahawk Public Schools for more than 25 years.
"We are doing a lot about the history of Tomahawk, the people that were here in the early 1800s and just a little bit about the land," explained Naturalist Rachel Anderson. "Right not we've been doing some tree identification and forestry measurements, but this morning they were learning about the voyagers and the Native Americans in this area."
The program covers more than just fall-learning, Treehaven leaders host learning programs in the spring and winter as well. You don't have to be a student to take part in some of the programs at the learning center. They include group hikes where you practice and discuss identifying plants and trees.
"We've had two this fall, and I'm hoping that is something we can continue to do in all seasons and continue to offer," said Anderson. "We've been getting a lot of positive reinforcement that it's something that the public is really interested in, so we hope to continue to offer more in the future."
Treehaven leaders regularly offer programs to the public involving nature, education, and artistry. If you are interested in learning more about these programs and events, you can follow the link listed below the article.
KENOSHA - Authorities have been searching a Kenosha County lake for a missing fisherman from Illinois.
The search on Silver Lake began Tuesday night after family members reported 66-year-old John Spoor of McHenry, Illinois, had not returned from his fishing trip. Sheriff's officials located the man's boat, but there was no sign of him.
Kenosha County Sheriff's Sgt. Bill Beth says the department had five boats on the water Wednesday. The search was halted Wednesday evening because of darkness, and the Kenosha News reports search teams are expected to return to the scene Thursday morning.
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