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.

8 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.


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