2015 Nature Scavenger Hunt

Sign up for iNaturalist.org! Citizen science!

Sign up for iNaturalist!

The hunt has ended. Congrats to Mark for observing the most species!

How to join in the fun: Get into nature and add your observations with a photo (or audio!) using the iNaturalist.org website or iPhone/Android app and it’ll show up on this leaderboard if it meets the rules below. Find all 30 species and rejoice in your victory!

Nature newbie and/or dumbphone user? No worries! We will help identify any plants and animals you see, and you can upload photos through the website without need for a smartphone. Just snap a photo and upload it to iNaturalist.org and identify as best as you can, even if that’s just “plant” or “turtle.” Here is a helpful guide with photos and descriptions of all the species on the list (and potential sighting locations ;).

Help others get to research grade by confirming their observations!


  1. Species must be on the 2015 Nature Scavenger Hunt List (download spreadsheet)
  2. Observation must be within the Chicago Wilderness region
  3. Must be observed between the dates of March 15th, 2015 and July 15th, 2015 (you will have until the end of July to upload your observations)
  4. Observation must be research grade. That means it must be “wild” and that you need a photo or audio, date, species identification, location, and for someone else to confirm your observation!

2015 Nature Scavenger Hunt List

Group Common Name Scientific Name When to Find
Mammals White-tailed Deer Odocoileus virginianus Year-Round
Mammals Eastern Gray Squirrel Sciurus carolinensis Year-Round
Birds American Robin Turdus migratorius Year-Round
Birds Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias Spring-Fall
Birds Mallard Anas platyrhynchos Year-Round
Birds Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis Year-Round
Birds Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus Spring-Fall
Amphibians American Toad Anaxyrus americanus Spring-Fall
Reptiles Eastern Garter Snake Thamnophis sirtalis Spring-Fall
Reptiles Eastern Painted Turtle Chrysemys picta Spring-Fall
Insects Goldenrod Gall Fly Eurosta solidaginis Year-Round
Insects Monarch Butterfly Danaus plexippus Summer-Fall
Arachnids American Dog Tick Dermacentor variabilis Spring-Summer
Arachnids Yellow Garden Spider Argiope aurantia Summer-Fall
Plants Common Milkweed Asclepias syriaca Summer-Fall
Plants White Wild Indigo Baptisia alba Summer-Fall
Plants Woodland Hyacinth Camassia scilloides Spring
Plants Eastern Hackberry Celtis occidentalis Year-Round
Plants Spring Beauty Claytonia virginica Spring
Plants Bastard Toadflax Comandra umbellata Spring
Plants Purple Prairie Clover Dalea purpurea Summer-Fall
Plants Pale Purple Coneflower Echinacea pallida Summer-Fall
Plants Spicebush Lindera benzoin Year-Round
Plants Moonseed Menispermum canadense Summer
Plants Mayapple Podophyllum peltatum Spring
Plants Pickerelweed Pontederia cordata Summer
Plants Swamp White Oak Quercus bicolor Year-Round
Plants Prairie Dropseed Sporobolus heterolepis Summer-Fall
Plants Eastern Skunk Cabbage Symplocarpus foetidus Spring
Plants Ohio Spiderwort Tradescantia ohiensis Spring-Summer

Please let us (habitat2030@gmail.com) know if you have any questions, comments, or ideas!

Past Scavenger Hunts