Native yellow sunflowers in a field
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Scavenger Hunt at William O'Brien 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

 

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

 

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1 / 22

ARTIST'S CONK

Appearance: Semi-circle with brown top and pure white underside.
Found: On tree trunks of hardwood trees and some conifers.
CAUTION: Never eat any mushroom unless knowledgeable.

photos: Cyndy Sims Parr/FlickrCC
George Chernilevsky/Public domain
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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

AMERICAN CROW

Appearance: All-black bird with a loud call.
Found: Around open areas near patches of woods.
Fun Fact: They are one of the most intelligent birds and live up to 20 years in large, extended families.

photo: Dick Daniels/Carolina Birds
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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

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

GOLDENROD

Blooms: July - September
Found: In the sunny areas.
Petals: Branching clusters with small, yellow flowers
Note: MN has 17 types of goldenrod that look similar with small yellow flowers.

photo: Elfosium / Wikimedia CC
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11 / 22

BLUE FLAG IRIS

Blooms: May - August
Found: In part shade to sun in wet meadows.
Petals: Typical iris shape, 3 to 4 inches across, blue to blue-violet, sometimes red-purple and rarely pale blue.

photo: Jennifer Quam / P&TC photo contest
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12 / 22

NEW ENGLAND ASTER

Blooms: August - October
Found: In fields and wood edges.
Petals: Dainty purple swirl around yellow disk.
Fun Fact: Important late-blooming food source for bees and butterflies.

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< Amphibians & Reptiles      Mammals >

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13 / 22

BEAVER (lodge or chew marks)

Lodges (Beaver homes): Look in shallow water for mounds of sticks. Beavers made these by chewing, carrying and placing each stick in place with mud. The entrance is underwater.
Chew Marks: Beavers gnaw on trees to fell them and use them in building dams. The marks are unique to beavers and one of the best signs of beaver presence.

[photos: Kyle T. Ford/P&TC photo contest; Keith William/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

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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17 / 22

WHITE OAK

Leaf: 5-9 finger-like lobes that can be notched deeply or shallow.
Bark: Pale gray with scaly ridges and shallow fissures.
Acorn: light brown and enclosed in a bowl-shaped cap.

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

GRASSHOPPER

Found: Near tall grasses in late summer and fall.
Fun Fact: They are jumping phenoms, leaping 20 times their body length, which equates to a human jumping 120 feet.

photo: Will Brown / WikiMedia CC
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20 / 22

MOSQUITO

Bzzzzz...thwap! Lucky you--you found a mosquito. At least you can check it off the list, even if, like most people, you weren't happy to find it.

photo: James Gathany / Flickr 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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