Wisconsin ranks second in the U.S. for bird watchingSubmitted: 02/28/2014
Story By Stephanie Fuerte

Wisconsin ranks second in the U.S. for bird watching
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."

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 03/19/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll show you the scene of an accident this afternoon on Highway 8 just west of Rhinelander that closed traffic for at least a half hour.

We talk to the Vilas County sheriff and the jail administrator about a clerical error that temporarily gave an inmate an early release.

And we'll show you how people over 40 took advantage of a free vision screening today from the Rhinelander Lions Club.

We'll bring you all this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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Lincoln County will also close its remaining trails. Zones 2 and 3 are already closed. Zone 1 will close at midnight on Monday, March 19.

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CRANDON - A Crandon man pleaded guilty to four charges of sexual and physical abuse of children in Forest County Court Monday.

Matthew Christenson pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree sexual assault of a child and one count of child abuse recklessly causing harm. All charges are felonies. 

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RHINELANDER - The older you get the worse your vision can become. But retired or not, vision screening can be expensive.

The Rhinelander Lions Club offered free eye testing for anyone over 40 on Monday.

The screening took place at the Oneida County Department of Aging.

The purpose of the screening was to help people identify if they are at high risk for eye disease or need to see an eye doctor.

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"This is a special place. There's no place like it and it's life changing," said Nance who's from the Tomah-area. 

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EAGLE RIVER - In his 20 years with the Vilas County Jail, administrator Bill Weiss can count on two hands how many times an inmate got out earlier than they should.

"It's pretty rare," Weiss said.

Weiss needed to add to that tally last week.  The jail let Edward Chosa Junior go as a "free" man on March 13, however that wasn't his correct release date.

"It was a clerical mistake," Weiss said.

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