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American Pika Ochotona princeps


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American Pika
credit: sevenstar

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Family: Ochotonidae, Pikas view all from this family

Description Lacks gray collar, has rusty brown facial patch, and buff underparts. Summer pelage ranges from grayish to cinnamon-brown. Winter pelage is grayer and nearly twice as long. Soft gray juveniles mature to adult color by late summer.

Dimensions 162-216mm, 0mm, 121-176g

Habitat Alpine & subalpine habitats, Canyons & caves

Range Rocky Mountains, Southwest, California, Northwest, Western Canada

Discussion Easily seen during daylight hours sitting on rocks, surveying surrounding territory. Male and female territories are usually adjacent, and separate except during breeding season. Short vocalizations signal movements to and from territories, and are used as alarm calls as well. Longer calls are used by the males during the breeding season. Maximum longevity is about 6 years. Use talus slopes or areas of broken rocks near meadows.