Yellowstone Reports

Printer-friendly version

Stranded Book Log Part 3

The Babies Are Out !!!
by Dan Hartman

July 3, 2013

     Day 8
     Very windy this morning.  I spotted twenty nannies and kids above Twin Lakes.  Higher up lounged four billies.  On the West Summit, several marmonts were out as were rosey finches and pipits.   Pika were scarce so I drove back down the mountain a ways and parked.  Hiking over a nearby ridge, I dropped down into a side canyon.  Here the wind wasn't so bad.  A golden eagle soared far below me.  When I'm done with the pika, I'll return to explore this canyon more closely.
     Day 9
     I was standing in the middle of my favorite pika colony this morning when one began calling.  To my left came a strange reply.  It sounded like a tiny donkey!   I looked down to see a baby pika and I had to laugh.  He fell silent and looked me over curiously.  I caught movement.  Another youngster crawled out of the rocks, then another.
     The babies are out!
     Day 10
     I'm seeing "pikalets" everywhere now, but still can't get the shot I want.  To show how small these litle pea pickers are, I need an adult to pose beside one, but it seems pika have a spacing requirement from the time they leave their den.  The closest I've seen them tolerate each other is about two feet.
     Day 11
     I hung out with the pika til about 9:30 then decided to go check on some bird nests.
     The hairy woodpeckers are getting close to fledging.  The little male has a yellow head patch, like one would usually see on a three toed  woodpecker.  Even though they are usually red, I have seen yellow before.  It'll eventually turn red.  The red- naped sapsuckers were still disappearing into their cavity to feed the young, so their nest has a way to go.  Bluebirds were feeding nearby as were wrens and swallows.
     Still no wolverines.


View slide show

Little Fella


Little Ears

Flower Child

Male Blue Bird Bringing In Something

Female Hairy Delivering Food

Red-naped Sapsucker