Martin Le-May, an amateur photographer from England, captured an incredible photograph of a weasel “riding” on the back of a green woodpecker as it flew through the air. Weasels are usually a ground-feeding animal that preys on rabbits, so this attack on a woodpecker is extremely rare.

  Martin Le-May quickly emailed writers at Buzzfeed with this description of the events:

“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. The woodpecker landed in front of us and I feared the worst. I guess though our presence, maybe 25 meters 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. The woodpecker left with its life. The weasel just disappeared into the long grass, hungry.”

The BBC put together a Vine showing all the photos of the event, which can be seen below.

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4 thoughts on “Photographer Nabs Picture of Weasel Riding Woodpecker

  1. that’s not a “baby” weasel. it’s a fully-grown Least Weasel. I raised a group of these once when the mother was killed. Fully-grown, they are only about 6-inches long, and ferocious as hell. It is definitely trying to kill that woodpecker.

  2. … when I was younger on the farm in Minnesota, I always helped my father & uncle with the Jersey milk herd in the barn & one winter night we heard the bull bellowing in the bull pen so I went to check & there was a weasel attacking the poor bull biting him on his back side. I didn’t know if the weasel was “rabid” so I was forced to end his antics with a pitchfork when the mean little s.o.b. decided that he was going to “kick my ass” instead. They don’t care how big you are when they’re mad… R.I.P. varmint…

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