Pika Flower Power


Flower Power

The American Pika gets no respect.  When seen, most people think it is just a mouse. No, it is not a mouse. With short ears and a short tail, it is closely related to the rabbit.  They live at high alpine environments where cool temperatures provide them with ideal living conditions. They are industrious little mammals, constantly gathering grasses and flowers during the non-snow months to store in their numerous caches called haystacks. It’s a wonder that they remember where these caches are hidden.  When dry, the haystacks are carried to the pika’s den where they provide food throughout the winter when the mountains are covered with multiple feet of snow.

Pika Packing

Pikas can be heard when they use their high-piched “eek” or chirp to warn others of predators, including encroaching people.  You can hear the chirp in this video:

The pika will use its sharp teeth to clip grass and flowers, stuff its mouth with the bundle and run and jump at top speed to store the bundle in the haystack. Watch this video of a pika running and jumping towards me, the photographer, as it carries a bundle to one of its caches:

Pikas are very sensitive to climate change. They need cool temperatures to survive.  As average temperatures rise, the pika will seek higher and higher elevations. As average temperatures rise they will overheat and perish. Climate change is a threat to their existence.

More images of this cute critter in action. The images and video clips were made on Loveland Pass, Summit County, Colorado:

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~ by richardseeley on October 23, 2017.

13 Responses to “Pika Flower Power”

  1. I absolutely LOVE your Pika photos… cute little guys. Good job on photos! They are so difficult to even see let alone get the shots you did! Thanks for sending, Corkie Ramey


  2. Thank you Corkie. Really glad that you enjoyed the images. they are difficult to capture, but lots of fun trying.


  3. A wonderful series and they are cute. Good shooting as always.


  4. Thanx Rod, always appreciate your comments.


  5. Magnifiques petits animaux Rich. tous nos compliments pour les très jolies photos !


  6. Thank-you Catherine


  7. Great pix of an often overlooked slice of mountain life. Love the sqeak clip. Thanks


  8. Thank you, Michael. Glad that you enjoyed the pix and videos.


  9. Hello, came across this from a google search after my windows login screen showed a pika carrying flowers in its mouth. I believe it’s your photo, so congrats on having your work displayed to a wide audience! I look forward to browsing your site.


  10. Is it possible to buy the flower power image? Like another poster, your image came up on my Windows login screen and I would love to be able to get this printed onto a canvas and wake up to it at the end of my bed every day 🙂


  11. Hello Rich, thank you for replying – unfortunately I can’t see any link to follow – it might be my computer but all I am getting is a slide show of the pika images. Could you let me have a simple url or ‘something’ 🙂


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