Native yellow sunflowers in a field
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Scavenger Hunt at Indian Heights 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.

Special thanks to our hunt sponsor

logo Friends of Indian Heights is sponsoring a drawing for an additional $25 gift card to a local outdoors store amongst all entries at this park on Sept. 13.

Happy scavenging!

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

SPLIT GILL

Appearance: Clusters of white, fan-shaped caps with fuzzy tops and gills under.
Found: On stumps, logs, and sticks of dead hardwood, especially oak.
Fun Fact: One of the most common mushrooms on the planet.
CAUTION: Never eat any mushroom unless knowledgeable.

photo: Mark Lingl/P&TC Contest
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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

WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH

Appearance: Gray with white belly. Males have black cap, females have gray cap.
Found: In the forest hopping headfirst down tree trunks.

photo: Steve Ryan, 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

NORTHERN LEOPARD FROG

Color: Bright green with spots that look like a leopard.
Found: In wet meadows and fields near wetlands or lakeshores.
Listen for: Long, deep snore lasting several seconds and ending with "chuck-chuck-chuck"

photo: Ryan Hodnett / Wikimedia CC
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< Birds       Flowers >

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10 / 22

BLACK-EYED SUSAN

Blooms: June - October Cheery yellow petals swirl around a black center.
Found: Sunny fields, along roads or lakeshores.
Petals: Cheery yellow petals swirl around a black center.

photo: Luke Lawreszuk / Sprayedout.com
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11 / 22

JOE-PYE WEED

Blooms: July - September
Found: In sunny spots along shores.
Petals:Pink to purple flowers.

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12 / 22

WILD BERGAMOT

Blooms: June - September
Found: In sunny fields,
Petals: Shaggy pink petals and is great for birds and butterflies.

photo: Joshua Mayer/FlickrCC
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< Amphibians & Reptiles      Mammals >

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13 / 22

CHIPMUNK

They are very active and inquisitive and find a home in hollow logs, tree cavities, or underground dens where they store piles of food.

photo: AndiW / WikiMedia CC
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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

RED OAK

Leaf: 7-11 lobes with pointed tips.
Bark: Young trees are smooth but as it ages, become rough with thin cracks.
Fruit: Acorns that feed wildlife.

photos: S. Seiberling / UNC Herbarium; 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

RED CEDAR (Juniper)

Needle: scale-like and green with sharp point.
Bark: Reddish-brown, peeling off in vertical shred-like strips.
Pinecone: Blueish berries are actually cones, which are used to flavor gin.

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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

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

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