Weasel on Woodpecker
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Weasel On the Back of a Woodpecker Image

by Brett M. Christensen

Image: Martin Le-May

A rather compelling image, which depicts a weasel perched on the back of a flying woodpecker, has the interwebs all aquiver. As per usual with regard to any unusual image that circulates online, an army of ‘experts’ have declared that the picture is ‘photoshopped’.

However, the image is in fact genuine. Amateur photographer Martin Le-May snapped the picture at Hornchurch Country Park in Essex, UK. Le-May notes that he heard ‘distressed squawking’ after the woodpecker was attacked by the weasel and was able to take the photograph after the bird took off with the weasel aboard. Via the Brentwood Gazette, he noted:

“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.”

Le-May adds that the woodpecker was able to escape after it landed, leaving the weasel hungry. 

It should be noted that the weasel was intent on killing the woodpecker and was not deliberately ‘flying’ the bird or ‘hitching a ride’ as suggested in some captions that come with the photograph.

A number of humorous images derived from the photograph are also circulating.

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,