American Pika

As a followup to yesterday’s post on the American Pika (“Florist Wanna-Be’s”), today’s post includes some images made while I was sitting among the rocks and photographing these cute little critters. I wasn’t really expecting a close encounter with them (past experience has shown that these little guys are typically very skittish and don’t tolerate humans very well), however this trip was much different. I had one pika come up and sniff my boot! I even had one that was so close, my camera/lens couldn’t focus on him! The likely reason I was able to get so close this time, was that I was quietly sitting down among the rocks and not moving around much. Animals are much more relaxed when you are down low, and not moving around much (not a perceived threat).

Here are a few of the images I captured:

American Pika on rock

One pika stopped a short distance from me and began preening:

American Pika preening

And this next little guy was very inquisitive, coming right up to my feet (too close to photograph, but I grabbed this shot before he got that close):

American Pika on a rock

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF100mm-400mm, f/4.5-f/5.6, IS + Canon 1.4x TC, shot at 300mm to 475mm (a couple of the images are cropped a bit)
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 2000 (all photos)
  • Aperture f/7.1 and f/8
  • Shutter 1/400 sec. to 1/500 sec.

 

 

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Posted in 2014, Blog, Mammals, Nature Photography, Travel Photography
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  • Scott

    Terrific closeup there, Jim. Cute little critters. I have found them quite skittish as well. I sure don’t see much noise there for ISO 2000. Did you have to do some noise reduction or is the 5D Mark 3 that clean?

  • Thanks, Scott! Yes, they are quite cute. No, no noise was removed from these images. In some of my low light images made with the 7D, I did have to remove noise. But the 5D MK3, which I just purchased in June, really gives a minimal noise image at high ISOs. So far, I’m extremely happy with that camera. I bought it mostly for macros and landscapes, but find I’m using more and more for wildlife :o)