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Head on with an American Pika

If this were a bigger critter, it might be intimidating. 😉

Always one of the highlights of my high altitude visitors are these little dudes. Staking out some of my usual spots among the rocks on Mount Evans yesterday, I could hear them frequently but was only able to get good pics of one. This guy (or gal) was unbothered by my presence and came right up to me. Here you can see it as it approached.

Usually found above timberline in western North America, these tiny residents are among the high altitude’s most active – during the summer. Despite their size, they are among the toughest mammals, spending their entire lives in the harsh, high altitude environment.

It is said this species of pika may become a victim of a warming climate. Studies suggest the American Pika is being driven to higher elevations in search of cooler temperatures. As it moves higher however, it could eventually run out of places to go.

An American Pika approaches head on. (© Tony’s Takes)

An American Pika approaches head on. (© Tony’s Takes)

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