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Little critter, big bark

Arguably one of the most entertaining creatures you will find in the high country – the American Pika.

These little guys are incredibly animated and always on the move. From the time they emerge from their burrows in the spring, they immediately begin preparing for the next winter, gathering food and stashing it away.

This past weekend, I spent an hour or so with this particular one near the top of Trail Ridge Road. It was quite tolerant of me, approaching at times within a foot of me, sometimes pausing to check me out and make sure I meant no harm but largely going about its busy work.

On one trip looking for food, it paused nearby, looked at me, and gave me a quick ‘bark’ – the distinctive sound that is almost like a chirp that they make. I’m not sure what message it was trying to convey, perhaps just letting me know how tough it was and that I better not pull anything. 😉

An American Pika barks, sounding off a warning to anyone and anything nearby.  (© Tony’s Takes)

An American Pika barks, sounding off a warning to anyone and anything nearby. (© Tony’s Takes)

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