While backpacking in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness a few weeks ago, I was greatly amused by the antics of Pikas— those übercute bunnies of the alpine zone. Pikas (Ochotona princeps is the species found in North America) are lagomorphs, members of the same order as rabbits. Talus slopes are the habitat of choice for these little guys. Besides possessing an I-can’t-believe-it’s-so-cute appearance, Pikas have a voice that is all too fitting: they sound like friggen’ squeek toys! That’s what was cracking me up on my trip. I kept hearing these ridiculous “eep!” sounds emanating from the rocks along the trail. Supposedly, these were “alarm” calls. However, I heard Pikas making these noises all over the place, all the time. So, either these calls can mean something besides, “Holy shit—hit the deck!” or Pikas have a lot to be alarmed about. Here is what a Pika sounds like. HA-HA-HA!
Photo found here