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Brave Blackbird Pictured Hitching A Ride On Eagle's Back In California

Blackbird mimics wily weasel who rode woodpecker to fame.

02/08/2016 16:42

Like most commuters, this red-winged blackbird clearly just couldn’t be bothered to get to its destination by its own means.

Instead, it hitched a ride on this American bald eagle, whose wing span is three times wider - stretching up to 7.5ft (90 inches) - meaning it could speed the smaller bird to its location much quicker.

Thinh Bui / mediadrumworld.com
The red-winged blackbird casually catches a ride on the back of the American bald eagle in California 

The eagle could have eaten its passenger, but soaring through the ED R Levin National Park in California, the bird of prey didn’t seem to bothered by its brave hitchhiker.

The amazing picture was captured by software specialist Thinh Bui.

In March last year a picture showing an even more unlikely duo in flight caused considerable amusement - it involved a wily weasel and a far less willing participant.

The image showed the weasel hitching a ride through the Essex country side on the back of a woodpecker. Unlike the blackbird, the mustelid had much more sinister intentions - it wanted to make a meal of its carrier, rather than simply catching a free ride. 

Martin Le-May
The wily weasel catches a ride on the back of a woodpecker 

The amazing happenstance was captured by photographer Martin Le-May in the Hornchurch Country Park.

Le-May had noticed the bird appeared to be “unnaturally hopping about like it was treading on a hot surface” before it took to the air. 

When it did, Le-May noticed something quite unusual. It had a passenger.

When the bird landed, Le-May feared the worst, but the weasel became spooked by his presence and the bird got away. 

Two months later, in June, a picture emerged showing a raccoon riding on the back of an alligator across the Ocklawaha River in Florida.

The authenticity of the picture, by Richard Jones, was widely debated, with experts suggesting the alligator would not be such a passive host. 

 

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