Watch This Woodpecker Hitch A Ride Through Downtown Chicago

Jukin Media and Humankind/Facebook

Sometimes, everyone just needs a lift on a rainy day. One little woodpecker was no exception, and now his hitchhiking adventure through downtown Chicago is going viral.

The video of the bird hanging onto a man’s window as he drives through sodden downtown Chicago is incredibly sweet. The driver plays tour guide for the damp bird as he clings tenuously to the windowsill.

“You wanna see Chicago for a bit?” asks the driver. “Welcome to Chicago. There’s the Picasso right there.”

The video, which was posted last year, continues for some time as the man shows the bird, which online commenters identified as a yellow-bellied sapsucker, the sights of downtown Chicago.

“Look at you, you’re beautiful!” the man tells the bird as they continue down the street.

“It’s going to get windy,” he warns the bird a short while later, as the car speeds up.

At one point, the bird hops right into the car with him. Perched on his sleeve, the man is (astonishingly!) unfazed, and keeps driving. The story ends, according to the Facebook account Humankind, in the way most bird-human relationships do: Humankind wrote, “The driver said: “After he joined me in the car, I got out and walked to the sidewalk so he wouldn’t get run over. He simply flew away off my jacket into the sky.”

As sweet as this video is, it’s important to know that this little bird was probably dazed and unhappy after colliding with a glass window somewhere downtown. According to Annette Prince, who runs the Chicago Bird Collision Monitors, a group that helps rescue migratory birds in Chicago, the bird in question doesn’t look so hot.

“They’re not an urban bird and they’re not supposed to be in the city or certainly hanging onto a car,” Prince said of the video in an interview with Chicago website DNAInfo. After accidents like the sapsucker appears to have been in, “they’re very confused. They’re not necessarily frightened of people.”

If you encounter a dazed bird that can’t seem to fly away for one reason or another, gently place the bird in a paper bag or box with a lid. Then you can call your local animal control to come release the bird in a safe environment.

Luckily, our little sapsucker in question seemed to just need a quick ride downtown to shake off a bump on the head. Happy trails, little guy!


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About the Author
Jessica Suss
Current high-school English teacher, native Chicagoan, and nut butter enthusiast moonlighting as a writer.

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