Hoaxes & Rumors

The Weasel Riding a Woodpecker Photo is Real

The Weasel Riding a Woodpecker Photo is Real

A photo circulating on social media shows a weasel riding on the back of a woodpecker in flight. Some have questioned the veracity of the photo.

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It’s real.

Let’s first take a look at the photo in question, which was posted on social media on March 2, 2015.

The tweet above was heavily shared on Twitter, and the photo was also found on other social media sites. Bird Guides also tweeted the photo its readers.

The Story

The image was captured by Martin Le-May near his home in Essex.  Le-May and his wife were on a walk when they spotted a “distressed squawking” bird. Le-May shot the popular photo and several others as he realized that a weasel was on the back of the green woodpecker. He stated that the bird landed nearby and flew off, sans weasel, when the mammal was “momentarily distracted.”

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Some on social media questioned the incredible photo, claiming it may have been fake. As you can see at birdguides.com, however, several photos of the incident were taken, not just the ubiquitous image.

In its coverage of the photo, the BBC asked a few wildlife experts their opinions. Steve Backshall stated that he had “no reason to doubt” the veracity of the photo.

Bottom Line

The image of a woodpecker flying through the air with a weasel on its back appears to be real. Although only one image from the scene has gone viral, several other photos exist as further proof that it is not fake.

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