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A Cornwall, Ontario photographer captured the exact moment a red squirrel regretted its decision to approach a woodpecker's nest.

See this squirrel ride a woodpecker in perfectly timed photo

Lori Knowles

Thursday, June 11, 2015, 10:30 PM - Proving that even animals have their awkward moments, a Cornwall, Ont., photographer captured the exact moment a red squirrel regretted approaching a woodpecker's nest.

You can practically see the squirrel wishing it had a time machine:

The photo is reminiscent of another image that went viral earlier in the spring, showing a baby weasel appearing to “ride” a woodpecker in an attempt to eat it. That image spawned a bunch of humorous memes.

Photographer Brian Morin said he was out for a morning hike in Lancaster on June 5 when he spotted the squirrel creeping up on a pair of pileated woodpeckers guarding their young. Red squirrels are known for being aggressive and will often raid birds’ nests, so the woodpeckers “weren’t taking any chances.

“I was watching the possible outcome of this, so I was ready to shoot,” Morin said. “I saw the male take off from the side of the tree and flip the squirrel off the tree with his bill.”

The squirrel took off after hitting the ground, “Probably pretty relieved,” Morin laughed.

“It was all over in a matter of seconds.”

When Morin reviewed the files from his camera later, he couldn’t believe his eyes.

“As often happens from a photographic perspective, I’m taking pictures and have a sense of what I’ve captured, but you never really know until you download them,” he said. “I downloaded them and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh – not only did I get it, but it’s in focus!’”

Just in case anyone is inclined to cry “Photoshop,” here are a few more of Morin’s images capturing the attack:

Morin said it just goes to show the lengths birds will go to in order to protect their young.

“Red squirrels can be very nasty; they will not hesitate to take on animals much larger than themselves, but this particular pileated [woodpecker] was like, ‘No farther. You crossed the line,’” he said.

Think you can read this squirrel's thoughts? Save this image, add your caption and share it with us on Twitter!

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