British tabloid Metro has reported yet another strange moment where a photographer has caught one animal hitching a ride on another, as a wave of apparent laziness sweeps the vertebrate kingdom. This time, it is a crow perching precariously on the back of a bald eagle while the eagle is in mid-flight, and pretty much owning the situation.
The unnamed photographer was out and about when they spotted the strange aerial goings-on happening several feet above their head. The three photographs were then forwarded to the newspaper by photo agency Media Drum World, as the strange factor sank in across the Pond. The location of the photos is also undisclosed, but the species of eagle depicted suggests they were taken in the United States.
The first shows the black crow flying in tandem with the eagle as it appears to be closing in on a warm sunny day. The second then shows the brave (or foolhardy, depending on your viewpoint) corvine rodeo participant perching on the eagle’s back – on one leg, leading Metro journalist Nicholas Reilly to comment that the crow rode the raptor like an ‘absolute boss’ – clearly indicating his new-found respect and awe for the plucky little passenger, who normally would be more at home cawing from the tops of chimney stacks than grabbing hold of the king (or queen) of the American skies like it was a errant Uber cab. Reilly also presumably got his breath back and also complimented the crow’s ‘serious landing skills’.
The third in the instalment depicts the respected symbol of American freedom fluttering its massive wings, perhaps in an attempt to dislodge and possibly devour its unwanted passenger. The crow, adopting a similar posture with its own much smaller wings, remains resolutely anchored to the eagle. “Get thee to the Crow’s Nest…where’s that, guv’nor?…..er….as far as the crow flies…”
The fate of the two birds or what happened next is not known, but Metro officially billed 2015 as the “year of animals effortlessly riding on the back of another animals”.
In March, wildlife photographer Martin LeMay saw a weasel attempt to attack a woodpecker that was perched on the ground. Its quest for an easy meal came hilariously unstuck when Woody decided that the weasel was taking the pee and promptly flew off, with the mammal clinging on for dear life on the woodpecker’s back. Then earlier in June, Richard Jones snapped a North American raccoon hitching a ride across a swamp on the back of an alligator.
While the famous abilities that American backpackers have for thumbing rides from motorists on quiet interstates are well-known to the point of being plot pieces for Hollywood horror films, it seems the animals of the USA have cottoned on too and taking equally risky rides. I wonder how much that eagle will charge for a ride to the local cinema?