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."
THREE LAKES - The DNR hopes it won't find more Northwoods deer with chronic wasting disease.
Last year, a deer on a game farm near Three Lakes tested positive for the deadly disease. Although it hopes that incident is isolated, the DNR wants more data on the health of the Northwoods deer herd.
The agency is urging hunters near Three Lakes to give their deer heads to the DNR for CWD testing.
The Boulder Junction Town Board voted two to one Tuesday night to move forward with a town plaza plan. The plan will now go to a design phase.
The board estimated the cost of the design phase to be between $30,000 to $50,000, but it was dropped to about $25,000 at the meeting.
Town Chairman Dennis Reuss and Town Supervisor Dennis Duke voted in favor, with Town Supervisor Denny McGann voting against the plan.
A little more than $1 million may not seem like a lot of money to a city like Madison or Milwaukee. But for a town of fewer than one thousand people, it's a lot. The Boulder Junction Town Board could vote Tuesday whether or not to move onto the next phase of a $1.26 million town plaza project.
Dennis Duke has a vision of what Boulder Junction could look like in a few years.
"This one has a much more artistic flair, this has a more engineering flair if you will," said Duke while looking at potential design plans.
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