Fascinating Photo: Weasel on the Back of a Woodpecker in Flight

Photographer Martin Le-May says he captured this amazing snap of a weasel on the back of a flying woodpecker, the weasel in mid-attack. Le-May said he took the photo while on a walk with his wife. They heard a "distressed squawking," which alerted them to the bird's presence. The photographer said in an interview with ITV News

"I saw that flash of green. So hurriedly I pointed out to Ann the bird and it settled into the grass behind a couple of small silver birch trees. Both of us trained our binoculars and it occurred that the woodpecker was unnaturally hopping about like it was treading on a hot surface. Lots of wing flapping showing that gloriously yellow/white colour interspersed with the flash of red head feathers. Just after I switched from my binoculars to my camera the bird flew across us and slightly in our direction; suddenly it was obvious it had a small mammal on its back and this was a struggle for life.

The woodpecker landed in front of us and I feared the worst. I guess though our presence, maybe 25 metres away, momentarily distracted the weasel. The woodpecker seized the opportunity and flew up and away into some bushes away to our left. Quickly the bird gathered its self respect and flew up into the trees and away from our sight."

While unusual shots like these are always questioned as to their authenticity, referring site i09 makes the case for this photo being real. See their argument, supplemented with studies and a video, here. 


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That little weasel bit off more than he could chew. In years to come, he'll be telling his weasel friends, and eventually his grandchildren, about the time he flew. And they won't believe him.
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