Updated Mar 04, 2015 at 12:18PM EST by Don.

Added Mar 03, 2015 at 06:01PM EST by Don.

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WeaselPecker, a portmanteau of “weasel” and “woodpecker,” is a photoshop meme based on a well-timed photograph of a weasel riding on the back of a flying woodpecker bird. Since entering online circulation through Twitter in early March 2015, the photograph has given way to a series of photoshopped parodies in which other subjects and fictional characters are shown riding alongside or in lieu of the weasel.


On March 2nd, 2015, East London photographer Martin Le-May took a photo of a juvenile weasel riding on the back of a woodpecker in Essex, England (shown below). On the same day, wildlife photographer Jason Ward posted the photograph on Twitter,[1] where it gained over 9,900 reweets and 7,400 favorites in the first 24 hours.

© Martin Le-May 2015 on Ward Follow Jas @Jayward7 ABSOLUTLEY INCREDIBLE photo by Martin Le-May. Green Woodpecker and Weasel. Apparently the Woodpecker escaped. 3:34 PM - 2 Mar 2015 9,971 RETWEETS 7,407 FAVORITES


Later that evening, BuzzFeed[2] published an interview with Le-May, in which he described the events surrounding the photograph. Also on March 2nd, Twitter user @darth[3] tweeted a photoshopped version of the image with a red panda dressed as the antagonist Darth Vader from the Star Wars franchise riding the weasel and bird (shown below).

Follow @darth "ok i think we lost the m" MT @byouchah: MT @Jayward7 ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE photo Martin Le-May Green わ다 . O Martin L Mv 2015 RETWEETS FA 35 4:35 PM-2 Mar 2015 >

On March 3rd, Twitter user Rebecca Lewis[4] tweeted a photoshopped image of Vladimir Putin riding on the back of the weasel, gathering more than 140 retweets and 90 favorites that day (shown below). Meanwhile, many other photoshopped versions of the image were posted on Twitter under the hashtag "#WeaselPecker"[5] (shown below, right).

# Rebecca Lewis @lewisbecs Follow #Wease!Pecker Putin is EXACTLY what I needed while still at work at 10pm RETWEETS FAVORITES 151 9:19 AM-3 Mar 2015 Rare Bird Alert Follow RBReBirdAlertUK Lots of memes doing the rounds for #Wease!Pecker, here are a few goodies-) RETWEETSFAVORITES 122 63 8:12 AM-3 Mar 2015

In the coming days, several news sites published articles about the online reaction to the photograph, including The Daily What,[6] Mashable,[7] The Huffington Post[8] and The Telegraph.[9]

Various Examples

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External References

[1] Twitter – @Jayward7

[2] BuzzFeed – This Incredible Photo Of A Baby Weasel

[3] Twitter – @darth

[4] Twitter – @lewisbecs

[5] Twitter – #WeaselPecker

[6] The Daily What – Photo of the Day

[7] Mashable – It's a bird! It's a weasel! It's a bunch of Weasel Pecker memes

[8] The Huntington Post – Hilarious #WeaselPecker Memes

[9] The Telegraph – #WeaselPecker

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