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The Secret to Making a Pika Yawn on Cue by Jay Ryser

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The Secret to Making a Pika Yawn on Cue by 

I’ve had pretty slim pickin’s for pika models this summer. This little guy is the only consistent pika I’ve found so far. He’s nearly doubled his weight in the last four weeks, and he’s no longer the gray color of his infancy. He’s getting the caramel brown coloring that comeS with adulthood.

I have to camp out in a talus field at 14,000ft to visit with him. In the thirty or so minutes I spent with him, I discovered a consistent way to get him to stretch and yawn – most of my images from that day were exactly of that – I saved about 8 images from over 300 that showed his best action.

The secret to getting a pika to yawn on cue? That’s going to have to wait – I’m working on an article and I don’t want to ruin the drama of waiting for the answer.

American Pika (Ochotona princeps)
Mt Evans Wilderness Area, CO
Sony a580
Sony 70-400 with CPL

Shot in RAW, processed in Lightroom 3 and Nik software

ISO 200, f/7.1, 250mm, 1/1250sec

I have a LOT more images on my WEB SITE



I’m primarily a nature photographer, usually wildlife, and I have lots of access to wildlife in Colorado. My main goal is to capture some of the individual personality of each of the animals I photograph – to document not just a fox, for instance, but to show something of that specific fox, something unique about that individual animal.

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  • Ginny York
    Ginny Yorkabout 3 years ago

    I thought for sure you were going to say Patience…lol You’re just a big tease Jay. :))
    Very cute capture!

  • Barry Doherty
    Barry Dohertyabout 3 years ago

    Just look at those beautiful teeth. So proud of them.

  • (Tallow) Dave  Van de Laar
    (Tallow) Dave ...about 3 years ago

    I have to agree with Ginny. You are a tease Jay. Great shot

  • Magaret Meintjes
    Magaret Meintjesabout 3 years ago

    1 Image per day ! 2011/07/28
    Excellent capture Ray, well done!

  • Steve  Taylor
    Steve Taylorabout 3 years ago

    Great shot Jay

  • Ray Clarke
    Ray Clarkeabout 3 years ago

  • JohnMWright
    JohnMWrightabout 3 years ago

    Are you SURE that’s a yawn? That isn’t a “I’m going to jump on you and eat your nose” expression? ;-) Great capture Jay.

  • If they were the size of a housecat, they’d be terrifying when they yawned. At his size, he’s just too cute to see as a threat

    – Jay Ryser

  • Martin Smart
    Martin Smartabout 3 years ago

    Awesome shot Jay, great timing whatever the secret!

  • CarolM
    CarolMabout 3 years ago

    Ha,ha, Great shot! I can’t wait to find the answer. He’s got some sharp teeth.

  • Sue Ratcliffe
    Sue Ratcliffeabout 3 years ago

    Congratulations! Featured July 30 2011. Great image!!!!

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