Native yellow sunflowers in a field
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Scavenger Hunt - Itasca 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.

Special thanks to our hunt sponsor

Logo - Friends of Itasca State Park Friends of Itasca State Park is sponsoring an additional drawing for a $25 state parks gift card amongst all entries from Itasca on Sept. 13.

Happy scavenging!

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

CROWN-TIPPED CORAL MUSHROOM

Appearance: Many-branched, coral-like mushroom; yellowish tan with crownlike tips.
Found: On old logs on the forest floor in June–September.
CAUTION: Never eat any mushroom unless knowledgeable.

photo: Kate Stephany / P&TC photo contest
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2 / 22

COMMON GREENSHIELD LICHEN

Appearance:  Looks like a leaf of lettuce glued to a tree. It's pale yellow-green with wrinkly, wavy lobes.
Found: On the trunk of broad leafed trees such as maples, oaks, etc. and shrubs.
Fun Fact: Some people use it to dye wool.

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

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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5 / 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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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

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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< Birds       Flowers >

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10 / 22

JOE-PYE WEED

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

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11 / 22

BLAZING STAR

Blooms: July - September
Found: In prairies, open woods, along roads.
Petals: Feathery pink flowers with grasslike leaves grow in clumps in prairies.

photo: Angela C / Pixabay
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12 / 22

SHOWY LADYSLIPPER

Blooms: June - July
Found: In moist prairies.
Petals: Inflated "slipper" is 1-2 inches long. The official state flower of Minnesota.

photos: Janice Huss / P&TC photo contest
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< Amphibians & Reptiles      Mammals >

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13 / 22

SNOWSHOE HARE

Very similar to the common cottontail. Has larger feet and black edge around its ears. In winter they turn white.

photo: Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar/FlickrCC
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14 / 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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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

JACK PINE

Needles: pretty short, about 1-2" long and grow in clusters of two.
Bark: Dull red-brown; irregularly divided into small scales.
Pinecones: Small cones are serotinous, meaning they rely on fire to open and release their seeds.

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

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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< 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

CICADA

Appearance: One of the largest insects in MN with lacy wings.
Molted Shells: As they grow they leave behind hollow shells attached to tree trunks.
Fun Fact: Their humming can be louder than a lawn mower and is mostly heard in the afternoon. They do not bite and are gentle bugs.

photo: piqsels.com & Ryan Hodnett/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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