Greetings from the Pikas
Esmerelda is tickled pink that lots of people have been signing up as pika enthusiasts. We have stories of first encounters, great pictures and some specifics on where the pikas were seen.
Joan recorded this on a windy day in the Colorado mountains.
Hear me!

 

 

 



Lisa Nikodym's Canadian Pikas
"I was in the Canadian Rockies for a week in late September, and was lucky enough to see about a half dozen different pikas in three different locations: the "Rockpile" at Moraine Lake (Banff National Park), a talus slope on the "Plain of the Six Glaciers" trail behind Lake Louise (also Banff) and on the moraine on the Cavell Meadows trail (Jasper National Park).

"The little guy I saw at Moraine Lake was very bold, scampering from rock to rock just a few feet from a very busy path (at one point even dashing across the path, dodging among a busload of Japanese tourists), and I got several good photos of him.

"One pika I saw on the "Plain of the Six Glaciers" trail was particularly feisty, sitting on top of a prominent rock about 50 feet from the trail, staring at us while "eeping" nearly continuously for several minutes. He was too far for good photos, but close enough that we could see the distinctive shape of his mouth that accompanied each "eep" (which you capture so well in your mouse pad picture).

In contrast, the several we saw on the way to Cavell Meadows were shyer, emitting a single "eep" before diving for cover. Amusing creatures! I had briefly seen some in the Sierra Nevada in years past, but this trip to the Canadian Rockies was the first time I've gotten good up-close looks at some."

Andrea and Jesse's First Encounter with "Eeepanema"
A Report from Andrea Hoy and Jesse DeWeese, Kelowna, BC, Canada.

"One day in early August my boyfriend and I were hiking at the Kettle Valley Railway in Kelowna, BC. We had been hiking for 4km when we came to a rock pile and heard the famous "eeeep!" We stared at the rocks and then we spotted the little teddybear-fairytale-like fuzzy which we named an Eeepanema mouse until we found out it was a pika. We watched it scurry into one hole and then pop out some 5 feet away in seconds. Finally the little pika went too high into the rock pile to see it so we continued on our hike. On our way back we stopped and look for the pika again and the curious little fuzzy came back out. Even 3 weeks later when we returned with another friend we found the pika again and that is our Pika encounter."

Graeme Pole's Classic Hikes in the Canadian Rockies

Pikas - EEEEP!

"So goes the call of the pika (PEE-kah or PIE-kah), one of two members of the rabbit family in the Rockies. The quartzite boulderfields below Saddleback Pass are perfect terrain for this tiny (less than 20 cm long) mammal. The pika has a gray coat and a minuscule tail. It has been affectionately described as a 'tennis ball with ears.' ..."

Photo and description are reprinted with permission from Graeme Pole, author of Classic Hikes in the Canadian Rockies, an excellent guide for planning your own trip to the mountains to meet some pikas. Book is available from Altitude Publishing Canada, Ltd., www.altitudepublishing.com or 1 800 957 6888.

Jody Fitzgerald's Wild Friends

Jody and her husband have camped for years in the mountains of the west. She has spent many hours sitting on rocks in talus slopes observing and photographing pikas and marmots. Both are favorite animals. I can tall by the looks on the faces of all her wild friends that they enjoy her attention.

Eve Lednicky Meets Pika along the Trail in the High Sierra.

"I thought you would appreciate this pika photo. My husband and I came across this one right along the trail in the high Sierra. He was quite tame and happy to pose. Hope you enjoy it."

 



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