|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
Todays image is of a American Pika. This is one incredible fast subject to photograph and also hard to spot as you probably found from the thumbnail. This is one cute little critter though read on a find out about this wee mammal.
Family: Ochotonidae, Pikas view all from this family
Description Brownish. Small, rounded ears. No visible tail. L 6 3/8"–8 1/2" (162–216 mm); HF 1 1/8–1 3/8" (30–36 mm); Wt 3 3/4–4 1/2 oz (108–128 g).
Similar Species Collared Pika has pale gray collar.
Breeding Mates in early spring. 2–6 young born May–June; a second litter may be produced in late summer.
Habitat Talus slides; rocky banks; steep, boulder-covered hillsides; usually at elevations of 8,000–13,500' (2,500–4,100 m).
Range Western North America from c British Columbia and w Alberta south to c California and n New Mexico.
Discussion The American Pika feeds on many species of green plants, eating some on the spot and, in late summer, when foraging may continue into evening, scurrying away with cuttings to boulders near its home. It spreads them to dry in the sun, curing its "hay" as a farmer does; haystacks are not high but may contain as much as a bushel of vegetation, primarily grasses and sedges, and also including fireweed, stonecrop, sweetgrass, and thistles. Even when large, piles are moved frequently for better drying or to shelter them from rain. Later the dried vegetation is stored in the pika’s den deep among the rocks. In winter, the American Pika does not hibernate; kept warm by its long, thick fur, it remains active, feeding on stored hay and lichens. Like all pikas, this species is highly vocal. The naturalist Thomas Nuttall, who described the call as "a slender, but very distinct bleat, so like that of a young kid or goat," was astonished when "the mountains brought forth nothing much larger than a mouse." The animal characteristically jerks its body upward and forward with each call, which perhaps explains why calls tend to be ventriloquial, sometimes seeming to come from far off when, in fact, they echo from sources almost underfoot. An observer of pikas once noted a fascinating sequence of events, when a weasel, attempting to capture an American Pika, was chasing it among the rocks. When the pika began to tire, another pika emerged and ran between the weasel and the first pika. The weasel then pursued the newcomer until the larger animal tired and withdrew to find easier prey. While it is not known if such behavior is widespread, it is easy to see how it could have evolved as a defensive response beneficial to the entire community.
CeltickRanger, boreocypriensis, ubc64, oscarromulus has marked this note useful
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ay what a very cute and beautiful small wild animal it is,
what a beautiful pose of this American Pika, reading your notes
great timing from you to shoot this photo, very fine POV, DOF
and framing, excellent focus sharpness and details,
a wonderful luminosity, i love that it is a little bit from far
and with him we can see from his environment,
une régale pour les yeux Rick, TFS very much,
Outstanding capture of this cute fellow! Wonderful placement of the cat within the frame. The focus looks nice and precise here. Great notes too.
TFS and have a nice WE!,
- [2010-05-16 12:04]
I'll bet that you struggled with getting a shot of that cute little fellow! In the following millisecond, he was probably gone again. Good crisp image, with very natural colours. Interesting rocks too. TFS.
Very cute Rabbit taken in his natural environment. Good focus, sharp details, nice composition for this image. Well done!
- [2010-05-16 18:14]
A cute little guy who I would have to imagine would be hard to spot amongst the rocky terrain. He looks like a cross between a mouse, rabbit and a chipmonk to me.
You captured him nicely in an alert pose and one which gives us a good look at his upper body. Great detail and beautiful natural colors. It appears as thought it was very sunny out this particular day, so you did a fine job on getting the exposure just right.
They are, indeed, most difficult to register.
So very tiny and they move so fast; plus, they camouflage perfectly.
Loved your notes. The image is P!E!R!F!E!C!T!!IO!N!!!
Have registered a few myself. Shall post as soon as I feel better. Have been with too much pain during these last few days.
Regards from Mario in Calgary.