Native yellow sunflowers in a field
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Scavenger Hunt at Jay Cooke State Park

Note: The 2022 Scavenger Hunt Season is now closed.

You are welcome to use this scavenger hunt, but there are no more weekly drawings.

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

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

Special thanks to our hunt sponsor

Logo - MN Trail Riders Association Minnesota Trail Riders Association.

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

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

RIM LICHENS

Appearance: Pale white-green-yellow with waxy surface. Inner area forms cup-like bodies with yellowish centers.
Found: Forms like a crust on rocks.

photo: PJason Hollinger/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

RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD

Male: All black with red/yellow patch on wings.
Female: Brown/white stripes/patches.
Found: Perching on reeds near water edge.

photos: Akiroq / Pixabay; Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren / WikiMedia CC
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6 / 22

RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD

Appearance: MN's smallest bird at only 3 inches. Only male has red throat.
Found: At forest edges, meadows and along streams.
Fun Fact: Their wings flap so fast it creates a humming sound.

photo: Michael Janke/FlickrCC
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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

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

SWAMP MILKWEED

Blooms: June - September
Found: In sunny wet fields or swamps along the shore.
Petals: Cluster of pink flowers on tall stalk.

photos: Linda Flickinger / P&TC photo contest
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11 / 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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12 / 22

BOTTLE GENTIAN

Blooms: August - September
Found: In moist, sunny fields and wood edges.
Petals: Blueish purple and never open.

photo: Lisa Filter / P&TC
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< Amphibians & Reptiles      Mammals >

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13 / 22

FRANKLIN'S GROUND SQUIRREL

They live in the northern part of the American tall-grass prairie, where they quietly hide. They're most active on sunny days. In recent decades populations throughout the midwest U. S. have declined dramatically.

photo: Ceasol / WikiMedia CC
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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

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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17 / 22

WHITE PINE

Needles: Clusters of five wispy needles (memory device: 5 needles for the 5 letters in WHITE).
Bark: Smooth and green-gray when young; furrowed and gray-brown when older.
Fun Fact: A favorite for bald eagles to nest.

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

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

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