Native yellow sunflowers in a field
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Scavenger Hunt at Great River Bluffs State Park

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

ELEGANT SUNBURST LICHEN

Appearance: Rich red-orange rosettes with radiating fingerlike lobes.
Found: Common on rocky shores. Found on every continent except Australia.
Fun Fact: Thrives under bird perches where it absorbs nitrogen from poop.

photo: Björn S.../WikimediaCC
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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

BALD EAGLE

Appearance: White head that turns white by age 4-5.
Found: Soaring high overhead or perched near top of white pine trees near water.
Fact: A conservation success story--nearing extinction by the 1970s, it rebounded after a ban on DDT pesticides.

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5 / 22

BLUE JAY

Appearance: Bold blue and white with crest on its head.
Found: In the forest.
Listen for: Loud shrieks.
Fun Fact: They are considered one of the most intelligent birds and have tight family bonds.

photo: Jongsun Lee / 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

PAINTED TURTLE

Color: Red-orange bottom shell (appears painted on) and black-olive upper shell. Yellow stripes on neck.
Found: On logs in lakes.

These rather adorable reptiles are docile and have no teeth.

photo: Steven Katovich / Bugwood.org CC
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9 / 22

COMMON GARTER SNAKE

Color: Black with 3 yellow lengthwise stripes.

Found: In the brush or sunning themselves on a paved trail.

No need to fear these reptiles who mind their own business.

photo: Christina Butler/Wikimedia CC
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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

PURPLE PRAIRIE CLOVER

Blooms: June - August
Found: In sunny fields and rocky areas.
Petals: Tiny purple with orangish tips, packed around a gray cone.

photos: Pixabay
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12 / 22

HAREBELL

Blooms: June - October
Found: In sun or part shade along rocky slopes or open woods.
Petals: Pale blue to bright purple, bell shaped.

photo: Chilepine / Wikimedia CC
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< Amphibians & Reptiles      Mammals >

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13 / 22

THIRTEEN-LINED GROUND SQUIRREL

Long body with 13 stripes on back. Found scurrying along ground or darting into its underground home.

photo: Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar / FlickrCC
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14 / 22

GRAY SQUIRREL

Found across Minnesota from woods to urban yards. Build leaf nests in summer.

photo: BirdPhotos.com / WikiMedia CC
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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

SUGAR MAPLE

Leaves: 3 pointed lobes with 2 smaller points near the stem (symbol on Canada flag).
Bark: Smooth, light gray to brown becomes almost black with irregular plates or scales.
Fun Fact: Maple syrup is made from this tree by collecting sap in the spring.

photo: MnDNR
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17 / 22

BASSWOOD (LINDEN)

Leaf: Heart-shaped with jagged teeth. Bees love to make honey from basswood flowers.
Bark: Smooth grayish red when young. Grayish brown with shallow, narrow ridges.
Fruit: Small nutlet under leafy bract.

photos: MnDNR; University of NE-Lincoln
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18 / 22

BITTERNUT HICKORY

Leaf: 7-11 narrow leaflets with pointed tips and fine-toothed edge.
Bark: Light gray-brown, smooth when young, then lightly textured shallow and narrow fissures with age.
Fruit: Round nut is too bitter to eat but used in smoking foods.

photos: MnDNR
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< Mammals      Arthropods >

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19 / 22

LEAFHOPPER / SPITTLEBUG

Size & Shape: Small bug (~1/4") in variety of different colors.
Spittle:
They surround themselves with bubbles as they eat leaves.

photos: Pixahive & Gbohne/WikimediaCC
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20 / 22

PILL BUG (Roly Poly)

Found: Lift up a large rock or log on the forest floor and you may see this bug scuttle away.
Fun Fact: They can roll up into a ball shape.
Key Role: They eat decaying plant material so it can be mixed into the soil and grew new life.

photo: Twosistersinthewild / Wikimedia CC
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21 / 22

SWALLOWTAIL BUTTERFLY

Color: Yellow with black outline or black with yellow marks.
Shape: Large wings with a set of tails at the end.
Found: Among wildflowers and along rivers, creeks and fields.
Fun Fact: In addition to eating flower nectar they also eat dead animals, dung and urine.

photos: James St. John/WikimediaCC
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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 note: An adult must fill in the information for anyone age 12 and under.

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

Your score is