Weasel Hitches Ride on Woodpecker in Amazing Image

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Jumping on the back of a flying woodpecker was a birdbrained thing to do for one wily weasel. In a series of stunning images captured by an amateur British photographer, a weasel held tight to the back of a red- and-green-feathered bird, NBC News' United Kingdom partner ITV News reported.

But Martin Le-May and his wife, Ann, quickly realized as they watched the fanciful flight unfold in an east London park on Monday that the weasel wasn't simply trying to hitch a ride. "This was a struggle for life," Le-May told ITV News. The weasel, he said, wanted the woodpecker for lunch.

"I guess though, our presence, maybe 25 meters away, momentarily distracted the weasel," Le-May said.

The bird wiggled in a way to break free from its unintended passenger. "The woodpecker seized the opportunity and flew up and away into some bushes away to our left," Le-May said. "Quickly, the bird gathered its self-respect and flew up into the trees and away from our sight."

As for the weasel, Le-May said, the long-necked mammal high-tailed it out of there. He "disappeared into the long grass — hungry," he said.

A weasel attacks a woodpecker in this photo captured by amateur British photographer Martin Le-May.Martin Le-May


— Erik Ortiz