In Alaska and northwestern Canada, collared pikas, also called rock rabbits, begin gathering their winter larder as summer ends. In preparation of the long cold months ahead, they store their rations in a very meticulous process called haymaking. This clip from Wild Alaska captures their prep activities in the last hours of season’s warm light. From The State of Alaska:
Pikas do not hibernate, and their survival during the winter is dependent on the success of their haying season. Each pika may make several haystacks within its territorial boundaries but will usually concentrate on a single main stack, which by late August may be up to two feet high and two feet in diameter. The piles of hay are often partially exposed to sunlight, allowing successive layers of hay to cure…
Little is known about what pikas do in the winter, although they are sometimes seen sunning themselves on large rocks on clear days. Presumably, they divide the rest of their time between feeding, chasing off other pikas trying to raid their hay piles, and resting up for the next haying season.
There’s more Alaska in the archives, plus more small, furry lagomorphs: Covered with bunnies on Japan’s Rabbit Island.
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