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.