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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Disapproving Pika

The Bird Chick's buddy Cinnamon has a lot to disapprove of these days, but this pika disapproves of being left out of the Disapproving Rabbits book. After all, pikas are lagomorphs, too- what's up with this Rabbit-centric attitude? (For more on lagomorphs, see the Camera Codger's treatment on the subject.) It's all in the pika's mind, you say? Then where are the hares? What? I didn't think so...
All in jest, of course- congrats on the book, Cinnamon (& Sharon.) Looking forward to it.

Like other lagomorphs, pikas don't hibernate despite living year-round on the arctic tundra in places like Mount Audubon, Colorado, where I snapped these pics. Instead they gather plant clippings all summer and make hay, piling them up to dry in talus patches and stuffing them away to dine on all winter in their rocky abodes drifted under insulating snow. We also saw three snowshoe hares in their summer-brown coats on the drive in, but photography was out of the question since they were in the pre-dawn headlights and then gone. Guess to work on them I need a camera trap like the above-mentioned Camera Trap Codger- that guy nails secretive mammal photos like no other!

2 comments:

Patrick Belardo said...

I loved seeing these little guys in Rocky Mtn Natl Park last year. They would just dart back and forth with huge clumps of grass in their mouths. Very cool!

Camera Trap Codger said...

Super shots, Bill, and thanks for the mention. Unlike me, you don't need any camera trap to get excellent lagomorph pics. . . not with what you've been able to do with birds.

One of these days I mean to camera trap a 'little chief hare', but there's always that paranoid dread of camera thieves -- which is definitely one of the big down-sides of camera trapping. I don't know how to hide a camera trap in a talus slope, unless I hike into the boonies! Maybe I need to think about repainting a cam case in granite camou.