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Namekagon conservation area is hardly the ‘barrens’ for wildlife

The name “barrens” couldn’t be more wrong when it comes to the diversity of plant and animal life that calls the scruffy oak and pine region home.

The Namekagon Barrens Wildlife Area — where Douglas, Burnett and Washburn counties meet — has become a hotbed for birdwatchers and wildlife photographers.

Here’s just a small sample, provided by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, of the species that spend at least part of the year in the Namekagon Barrens Wildlife Area:

Birds

* Northern harrier

* Red-tailed hawk

* Rough-legged hawk

* Merlin

* American kestrel

* Virginia rail

* Sora

* Killdeer

* Spotted sandpiper

* Upland sandpiper

* Common snipe

* Mourning dove

* Sharp-tailed grouse

* Black-billed cuckoo

* Common nighthawk

* Whip-poor-will

* Chimney swift

* Ruby-throated hummingbird

* Belted kingfisher

* Eastern wood-pewee

* Alder flycatcher

* Least flycatcher

* Great crested flycatcher

* Eastern kingbird

* Warbling vireo

* Red-eyed vireo

* Tree swallow

* Barn swallow

* House wren

* Sedge wren

* Eastern bluebird

* Veery

* Hermit thrush

* Wood thrush

* Gray catbird

* Cedar waxwing

* Golden-winged warbler

* Nashville warbler

* Yellow warbler

* Chestnut-sided warbler

* Common yellowthroat

* Scarlet tanager

* Chipping sparrow

* Clay-colored sparrow

* Vesper sparrow

* Savannah sparrow

* Grasshopper sparrow

* Rose-breasted grosbeak

* Indigo bunting

* Dickcissel

* Western meadowlark

* Yellow-headed blackbird

* Brewer’s blackbird

* Brown-headed cowbird

* Northern oriole

* American goldfinch

Mammals

* Masked shrew

* Pygmy shrew

* Short-tailed shrew

* Long-tailed weasel

* Thirteen-lined ground squirrel

* Eastern chipmunk

* Least chipmunk

* Woodland deer mouse

* Prairie deer mouse

* White-footed mouse

* Red-backed vole

* Meadow vole

* Prairie vole

* Meadow jumping mouse

Reptiles and amphibians

* Eastern American toad

* Boreal chorus frog

* Northern spring peeper

* Cope’s gray treefrog

* Eastern gray treefrog

* Bullfrog

* Green frog

* Northern leopard frog

* Mink frog

* Blanding’s turtle

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