Wildlife Photography

 

This American Pika lives in the Absaroka-Beartooth Mountains between Red Lodge Montana and Cooke City Montana.  In Early July, as the snow was melting and the evening light from the setting sun painted the Beartooth plateau, this molting pika took a break from feasting on the blooming flowers.

 

The pika is related to rabbits; The order Lagomorpha, which is the same as rabbits and hares. The rounded ears, helps them sense noise from long distances.

 

On this high-elevation plateay, the American pikas spends morning, evening and night, gathering flowers and forbes and grasses for winter.  Some pikas will gather over 50 pounds of food for their winter food source.  Food is stored in haypiles or haystacks, the volume of which is perhaps that of few kitchen-size garbage cans.  On the Beartooth plateau, they collect many species of plants. Biologists have learned that during just a 10-week time period, one pika will make 14,000 foraging trips, as many as 25 per hour, to secure its food stash.

 

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