American Pika are so cute!

September 20, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

Pika!!! Its paws are too much cute for me to handle.

These are some of the most fascinating animals in Colorado. American Pika live strictly in high elevation environments above 8,000' feet (about 2,500 meters). One source I read indicated they only go as high as 13,000' (about 3,960 meters), but I'm certain, from personal experience with them, they live at least as high as 14,000' (about 4,260 meters). 

While the short Alpine summer is in swing, Pika collect about 50 lbs. of vegetation to store away for the long Winter months -- pretty remarkable when you consider these mammals are only about 6" - 7" long and weigh around 6 ounces. Pika do not hibernate and use their storehouse of vegetation in their dens among talus fields for sustenance and warmth.

With their small size, nimbleness, and agility, they can easily cover more ground than me when navigating talus fields in a much shorter time. I'd be on my face if I tried to hop and skip my way through the talus like they do.

I got some really cool pics of Pika collecting vegetation when I was in the mountains. Follow my instagram to see all the cute!

Photo recipe: 

Canon 5D Mark IV + 600 mm lens
ISO 400
F 5.6
SS: 1/3200
 

I chose ISO 400 because the morning sun was getting stronger, so I didn't need as much ISO sensitivity and because I had the aperture pretty open at F 5.6. I often shoot wildlife with 1/3200th of a second shutter speed because I want to capture unexpected action and because a faster shutter speed lets me use the camera (and the long 600 mm lens) without a tripod. 

 

 


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