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

Weasel hitches ride on woodpecker in amazing image

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.

This article originally appeared at NBCNews.com