Scavenger Hunt – Minnesota Valley
Thank you for participating in Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota’s All-Ages Scavenger Hunt!
You are tasked with finding as many of the specific “items” listed below as you can, which are grouped into these categories:
◎ Birds ◎ Mammals ◎ Wildflowers ◎ Trees ◎ Humans
RULES AND PRIZE DRAWINGS
Submit this form to be entered in our weekly drawing for a $20 gift card to Minnesota State Parks.
Anyone from age 1-100+ may participate, but for participants age 12 and under, a parent/guardian will need to submit the form.
Entrants are limited to one hunt per park or trail during the event season. But feel free to do them all!
POINTS = ENTRIES IN WEEKLY DRAWING
- 20 pts – For submitting this form
- 1 pt (19 max) – For each “item” you find
- 20 pts – For sharing an Instagram photo of your adventure
- 5 pts (10 max) – For each child age 12 and under who participates with you
“The real source of inner joy is to remain truthful and honest.”
Good luck and happy hunting!
#1. Bird - BELTED KINGFISHER
Top-heavy bird that flies quickly over water where it spends most of its time. Makes a piercing rattle sound. Males and females similar.
Wonderful! These birds are so fun to see.
#2. Bird - BLUE JAY
Unmistakable bold blue and white feathers with crest on its head. Male and female look alike. Often heard making loud shrieks.
Woohoo! You found a blue jay!
#3. Bird - DOWNY or HAIRY WOODPECKER
These two woodpeckers are nearly identical with the Downy a little smaller at ~6" and Hairy ~9". The female doesn't have the red mark on head.
Great job finding this one!
#4. Birds - WOOD DUCK
MN's most colorful duck. Males have red eye and green crest. Females mostly brown with smaller crest and white ring around eyes. Found in quiet backwaters or ponds.
What a treat to see this bird!
#5. Mammal - BEAVER
Spends most of its time in water near its lodge, which they build from sticks and mud and enter from underwater.
Woohoo, you found a creature that plays an important role in Minnesota’s wetland ecosystem.
#6. Mammal - GRAY SQUIRREL
Found across Minnesota from woods to urban yards. Build leaf nests in summer.
Nice job! Did you know squirrels sometimes pretend to bury a nut to throw off potential thieves.
#7. Mammal - RED FOX
Usually red-orange in color, some yellow or black. Tend to hide from humans, so only the lucky will spot one.
Amazing that you found such an elusive creature!
#8. Mammal - WHITETAIL DEER
One of the largest mammals in MN yet camoflagued and stealthy. Sleeps in different spot each night. Only males grow antlers.
Nice job! Isn’t it amazing how quiet they can be.
#9. Wildflower - BLUE FLAG IRIS
Blooms May-Aug l Found in part shade to sun in wet meadows. Flowers are a typical iris shape, 3 to 4 inches across, blue to blue-violet, infrequently red-purple and rarely pale blue.
#10. Wildflower - COLUMBINE
Blooms May-Jul | Grows on cliffs and forest edges. A dainty flower with an interesting shape. Hummingbirds drink nectar from this flower.
Great! Look closely to see the fine details on this flower.
#11. Wildflower - COMMON MILKWEED
Blooms Jun-Aug | Grows along shores and wood edges. Pink or white flowers. Monarch butterflies rely on milkweek to lay their tiny eggs, then the caterpillar eat the leaves.
Wonderful! Now, look closely for the green and yellow caterpillars of the monarch.
#12. Wildflower - GOLDENROD
Blooms Jul-Sep l Grows in the sunny areas. Plant grows 1-6 feet tall. MN has 17 types of goldenrod that look similar with small yellow flowers.
Yes! This is a very common flower that’s important for pollinators.
#13. Tree - BASSWOOD
Leaf is heart-shaped with jagged teeth. Bees love to make honey from basswood flowers.
Wonderful job finding this basswood!
#14. Tree - GREEN ASH
Between 7-9 leaflets are attached to each stem. An invasive insect known as the emerald ash borer is spreading across the state and killing off many ash trees.
Nice job! Look for evidence of the Emerald Ash Borer, which leaves “S” shaped etchings in the bark. Let’s hope you don’t see any!
#15. Tree - SUGAR MAPLE
Maple syrup is made from this tree by collecting sap in the spring. Leaf has 3 pointed lobes with 2 smaller points near the stem (symbol on Canada flag).
Wonderful, you found a sugar maple!
#16. Tree - WHITE OAK
White Oaks are mighty trees whose acorns feed many wildlife. Leaf has 5-9 finger-like lobes that can be notched deeply or shallow.
Fabulous! Do you see any acorns?
#18. Humans - BIRDWATCHER