Incredible Photos of a Woodpecker Flying With a Weasel on Its Back

British amateur photographer Martin Le-May heard a commotion while walking in an East London park and stumbled upon an extraordinary sight–a European green woodpecker flying with a small weasel clinging to its back. Le-May had a camera with him and was able to capture several incredible shots of the event.

As Le-May explained to ITV News, the weasel was taken for a ride after it ambushed the bird on the ground. The bird took flight–with the weasel on its back–in an effort to escape. After a short flight, it landed and shook off the weasel before taking flight once more. Le-May’s clearest photo of the encounter has since become a viral sensation online, with a number of “remixes” cropping up today. Photoshop conspiracy theorists take note: While Le-May’s images do seem highly improbable, a BBC wildlife expert told BBC News that such a scenario “is not totally unheard of.”

As we walked we heard a distressed squawking and 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.

E.D.W. Lynch
E.D.W. Lynch

Writer and humor generalist on the Internet and on Facebook.