Scavenger Hunt – Nerstrand Big Woods
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 - AMERICAN GOLDFINCH
Common at feeders. Males are brilliant yellow while females are more dull.
Nice job finding a goldfinch! While fairly common, they are a treat anytime you see them.
#2. Bird - BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE
Friendly bird found throughout MN shows curiosity for humans as it flits around looking for seeds to eat. Male and female look alike.
Woohoo! You found a chickadee!
#3. Bird - CEDAR WAXWING
Sleek looking bird with crest and black mask. Very social with flocks moving about together as they look for berries and insects to eat.
#4. Birds - SCARLET TANAGER
The male is a brillant-colored red bird with black wings. The female is much less distinct and yellowish-gray. Found high up in mature, large forests. Migrate to Central and South America.
#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 - 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.
#10. 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.
#11. 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.
#12. Wildflower - HAREBELL
Blooms June-Oct l Grows in the sun or part shade along rocky slopes or open woods. Flowers are about ¾ inch long, pale blue to violet to bright purple, bell shaped.
#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 - BITTERNUT HICKORY
Leaf is composed of 7-11 narrow leaflets with pointed tips and fine-toothed edge. Has round nut that is too bitter to eat but used in smoking foods.
#15. 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!
#16. 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!
#17. Humans - BIRDWATCHER
#18. Humans - DOG WALKING
Someone walking their dog