Pikas resemble hamsters but are in the order Lagomorpha along with rabbits and hares. They live in rockslides, often above treeline in the mountains of Asia and western North America. Since they don't hibernate, they need to store food for winter. During much of the summer they gather grasses into haypiles to dry in the sun. Their primary predators are Golden Eagles, weasels and martens. Typical habitat shown here:
|August 1971, Madera County California
This photograph has appeared in numerous books and magazines including Audubon and Pacific Discovery.
|August 2003, Mono County California
Pikas may be found on either the east or west slope of the Sierra Nevada crest, but I find the east slope animals easier to photograph because the metamorphic rocks on the east side are close to the tone and color of the animals' fur. Farther to the west the bright white granite is much brighter than the film can record without losing detail in the Pikas' fur.