misty grass
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Scavenger Hunt at Banning

Welcome! You are tasked with finding up to 22 "items" from these categories:

  • Mushrooms/Lichens
  • Birds
  • Amphibians/Reptiles
  • Wildflowers
  • Mammals
  • Trees
  • Arthropods

Whether you find just 1 or all 22, you can enter the weekly drawing for a $20 gift card to Minnesota State Parks by filling out the form at the end of the hunt. Winners are selected each week among all participating parks.

Happy scavenging!

Note: Icon below shows # of entries at this park for the year.
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1 / 22

YELLOW FLY AGARIC MUSHROOM

Appearance: Yellow cap with white specks.
Found: On the ground under conifers, aspen, or birch.
Fun Fact: Appears in many fairytales.
CAUTION: Never eat mushrooms unless knowledgeable.

photo: Steve Young/P&TC
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2 / 22

TINDER CONK (HOOF) MUSHROOM

Appearance: Looks like a horse hoof on a tree.
Found: Mostly on birch trees.
Fun Fact: The famous mummy, "Otzi the Iceman" was carrying this mushroom to use as tinder.
CAUTION: Never eat mushrooms unless knowledgeable. This slow-growing mushroom cannot be harvested in state parks

photo: Photo © Walter Baxter
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3 / 22

LIPSTICK POWDERHORN LICHEN

Appearance: Red tips on a green stalk that are about 1 inch tall.
Found: On dead wood and often at the bases of trees.

photo: bjoerns/WikimediaCC
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Next: Birds >

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4 / 22

BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE

Appearance: Back cap and chin.
Found: Year-round residents of MN forests and common visitor to bird-feeders.
Fun Fact: A friendly bird that has been known to eat seeds from human's hands.

photo: Minette Layne / Wikimedia Commons
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5 / 22

AMERICAN GOLDFINCH

Appearance: Brilliant yellow with black wings and cap.
Found: In areas with thistle plants and usually in small flocks.

photo: Mdf / WikiMedia CC
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6 / 22

COMMON YELLOWTHROAT

Appearance: The male looks like the masked bandit of the bird world with its black mask on yellow body. Female doesn't have a mask.
Found: Secretive birds flit in the brush near marshes or wetlands.
Listen for: Cheerful song of "witchity-witchity-witchity-witchity"

photo: Dan Pancamo /Wikimedia CC
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< Mushrooms       Reptiles >

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7 / 22

AMERICAN TOAD

Color: Brown, olive green, or reddish.

Found: Near water or moist areas.

Toads are amphibians that start life as tadpoles then emerge onto dry land as tiny toadlets about the length of a fingernail.

photo: National Park Service
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8 / 22

WOOD FROG

Color: A masked frog with grayish body.
Found: In forested areas under logs and rocks or in leaf piles. Breed in wetlands and lakes.
Listen for: Ducklike cackling: ca-ha-ha-ac, ca-ha-ha-ac, ca-ha-ha-ac,

photo: Ryan Hodnett / Wikimedia CC
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9 / 22

SKINK

Size: 5-8 inches.
Color:
Shiny black, brown, or green with stripes.
Found: Along stream banks or grasslands and rocky areas.
MN has 3 species of skink, that look similar

photo: Pixahive
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< Birds       Flowers >

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10 / 22

COLUMBINE

Blooms: May - July
Found: On cliffs and forest edges.
Petals: Red/pink with club-like petals.
Fun Fact: Hummingbirds drink nectar from this flower.

photo: Jelieta Walinski/P&TC photo contest
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11 / 22

BUNCHBERRY

Blooms: May - July
Found: In shade of moist woods and bogs.
Petals: Four white petals.
Leaves: Whirl of smooth, pointed egg-shape. Easy to spot even after the petals are gone.

photo: Lisa Filter / P&TC
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12 / 22

SOLOMON'S SEAL

Blooms: May - July
Found: In shady woods.
Plant shape: Zig-zag arching stalks are 1-5 ft. long. Native Americans and colonists used the starchy rhizomes (roots) as food.

photos: Pixabay
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< Amphibians & Reptiles      Mammals >

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13 / 22

COTTONTAIL RABBIT

One of the most common small mammals in MN. Often seen running along trails within thick brush. They live within about the same 5 acres all year long.

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14 / 22

RED SQUIRREL

A cute little critter with a loud bark/chatter. The white ring around its eye only adds to the cuteness.

photo: Pixabay
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15 / 22

WHITETAIL DEER

One of the largest mammals in MN yet camouflaged and stealthy. Sleeps in different spot each night. Only males grow antlers.

photos: Justin Pruden / P&TC photo contest
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< Flowers       Trees >

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16 / 22

QUAKING ASPEN

Leaf: Rounded with saw-tooth edge. Leafstalk is flattened, which allow it to "quake" in the breeze.
Try: If you find a leaf try rolling it by its stem with your fingers to feel the way it moves.
Bark: Greenish-white and smooth upper with black splotches. Base is grayish and furrowed.

photos: MnDNR
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17 / 22

RED PINE

Needles: 4-6" long and bound into clusters of two with sharp tips.
Bark: Red and cracked into plates.

photo: MnDNR
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18 / 22

WHITE CEDAR

Needles: Flat and scale-like and have aromatic scent.
Bark: Gray to reddish brown, separating in long, vertical shreddy strips.
Found: In moist, rocky places.

photo: MnDNR
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< Mammals      Arthropods >

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19 / 22

SPIDERWEB

Often invisible until the sun hits it just right. Spiders create these fantastic contraptions to catch prey. The silk is made in glands on the spider's abdomen. Many spiders will eat their own web each day and rebuild a new one the next day.

photo: Aaron Kostko/P&TC Photo Contest
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20 / 22

LADYBUGS (Ladybird Beetles)

Size & Shape: Most common ones are the non-native species (shown in photo) that are reddish with black spots. Minnesota is home to 50+ species of rare ladybugs.

photos: Dominik Stodulski/Wikimedia CC & Larah McElroy/FlickrCC
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21 / 22

DRAGONFLIES / DAMSELFLIES

Appearance: 140 species in MN come in a rainbow of colors.
Dragonfly: Bigger and keep wings spread out when resting.
Damselfly: Smaller and close their wings when resting.
Fun Fact: They can fly upside down, backward, and turn 360° on a dime.

photos: John Wright / Flickr CC; Jim Johnson / iNaturalist CC; Wayne Fidler / iNaturalist CC
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< Trees      Write-In >

22 / 22

WHAT OTHER INTERESTING THINGS DID YOU FIND?

Fill in the following information to be entered in our weekly drawing for a $20 gift card to Minnesota State Parks, which will be mailed to the winner.

You may also opt to receive this 4"x 4" window cling with dots showing each Minnesota State Park.

state of mn with dots for each state park

 

Please mail me this window cling and more info about Parks & Trails Council of MN

Your score is