Stoat-carrying woodpeckeer: is it fake?

Newest meme: http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/03/europe/uk-woodpecker-weasel/index.html

Is this fake? I don’t believe a stoat is so small relative to a woodpecker. Talk amoungst yourselves…

– Heavenlyjane

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12 Comments on “Stoat-carrying woodpeckeer: is it fake?”

  1. Jon Hall Says:

    Its actually a Weasel which is much smaller than a Stoat

  2. heavenlyjane Says:

    So you think it might be genuine?

  3. vdinets Says:

    The author reportedly claims to have a whole sequence of photos, but I haven’t seen the rest of it yet.


  4. Some of the other photos in the link below
    http://www.itv.com/news/2015-03-02/incredible-image-shows-weasel-flying-on-woodpeckers-back/
    If I was going to fake a photo I’d probably choose something a little more believable like Nessie or Big Foot.

  5. John Fox Says:

    The weasel’s left paw doesn’t even muss a feather, nothing else about the bird looks like a carnivore just attacked it. No attempt to bite the back of the neck? I don’t believe it.

  6. tomeslice Says:

    I did see the rest of the pictures. It looks genuine to me, and keep in mind some weasels are pretty damn small (especially least weasel)

    I can’t be 100% certain but if it didn’t happen this time, with this series of pictures, it’s must have happened other times because of the nature of these two animals.

  7. Jon Hall Says:

    I believe it… but then I am famously over-trusting

  8. Andrew Block Says:

    I’m not saying it’s real but I think it probably is. Usually you can tell when something like that is faked and this doesn’t look it. The two animals pictured are a Least or Common Weasel (Mustela nivalis) and a Eurasian Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis). The woodpecker is 31-33cm. long and 138-250g. in weight and the weasel is 11.4-26 cm long and 25-250g. These woodpeckers are fairly large birds, being about the size of a flicker or larger giving them strong wings to lift something the size of a tiny weasel with little problem, especially with the extra adrenaline it’s getting from the shock of the attack. There isn’t much damage on the bird b/c it probably took off as soon as the weasel jumped on it and the weasel only was able to get a grip on it so it wouldn’t fall off. Just my opinion.

  9. Miles Foster Says:

    Hi, everyone,

    I am new to the forum but have been visiting the mammalwatching website for some time.

    It never occurred to me this might be a fake when I heard about it yesterday. I have come across similar stories and it strikes me as just the sort of thing a weasel might do! Some confusion, of course, arises from the fact that in America a weasel is a stoat.

  10. Farnborough John Says:

    I’ve seen the whole sequence and if its faked then it represents a colossal amount of work. The minimum requirement would have to be a sequence of photos of a Green Woodpecker flying towards the photographer (away is more usual!) and another of a Weasel in various poses. Then there’s a lot of Photoshopping to be done, to a very high standard.

    The reaction time of a startled Green Woodpecker is pretty damn short, so once the Weasel had jumped on it would have had to concentrate on hanging onto a fast moving mount up in the air.

    I have no doubt about this picture. BTW since then a Youtube video of an American Mink on the back of a swimming Herring Gull has surfaced – amazing stuff does get caught on camera occasionally!

    • kbrown217 Says:

      Not sure either way, and certainly not qualified enough to know, but I always find flight shots the hardest to focus correctly, so find it strange it is the only in the sequence that seems in focus.


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