I had ideas for umpteen blogs. Here is where they all somehow converge and I attempt to do something productive with my sprawling web presence.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
A rare photograph is captured of a weasel riding the back of a woodpecker
No. This is not a photoshop. The Indiana Jones of weasels snagged a woodpecker ride on Monday and the incident was captured by a London photographer. The rare photo depicts the woodpecker in flight and the weasel snuggled up against him, seemingly checking out the view. But a couple clues in the photograph point to signs of distress. The woodpecker’s bugged out eyes and beak opening to utter a panicked squawk, for instance, show a bird that didn’t want to give free rides to weasels. The woodpecker just wanted to avoid being a weasel’s lunch.
Martin Le-May of Essex was the photographer who snapped the photograph. UPI reports, March 3 that Le-May and his wife were out hiking and heard the panicked bird. Imagine their surprise when they realized what was going on. The two of them saw a small mammal grasping on to a woodpecker and then that woodpecker took flight, trying to shake the weasel off.
Le-May told the BBC that the woodpecker was able to escape the weasel, afterall. “I think we may have distracted the weasel as when the woodpecker landed it managed to escape and the weasel ran into the grass.”
According to an expert interviewed by the BBC, weasels are fearless but hunting woodpeckers isn’t usual. Wildlife expert Lucy Cooke said that weasels usually go after rabbits. It’s a rarity for a weasel to go after woodpeckers but not unheard of, related another expert to BBC. Weasels are fierce creatures, fierce as lions -- or is that as fierce as honey badgers (?) -- so why wouldn’t they on occasion hitch rides on the backs of woodpeckers?
*originally published on the now defunct Examiner.com