The Bird Photographer of the Year team is passionate about conservation and the protection of natural environments and their birdlife. But there’s no getting away from the fact that most of us live in urban environments where people have modified the landscape to a greater or lesser degree. Given the extent of urbanised land throughout the world this makes it all the more important that we make space for wildlife in our towns and cities, as well as in the countryside.

There is no better advocate and ambassador for urban birdlife than David Lindo – aka the Urban Birder. David is a leading light in the conservation and birding world, and his influence ranks him among luminaries like Sir David Attenborough and Chris Packham. BPOTY is thrilled that he has agreed to join the team. For this competition cycle David will help judge our Conservation Documentary Award alongside fearless wildlife campaigner Mark Avery and legendary conservationist Mark Carwardine.

160343Above: In the context of the UK the Waxwing is a winter visitor that is invariably associated with urban environments – an avian ambassador for the potential benefits to birds of towns and cities. ©Paul Sterry/Nature Photographers Ltd.

Looking to the future, David will help us develop the existing Garden and Urban Birds category in the BPOTY Competition. And who knows where that will lead… With so much urban birdlife on our doorsteps and so many budding urban bird photographers out there, we sense a real opportunity to spread the conservation message in our towns and cities, and inspire people to care through world class imagery. Here are some examples of classic urban bird photos from the BPOTY Portfolio.

Daniel TrimAbove: From the 2019 BPOTY Awards, this Eurasian Starling image is entitled ‘Supermarket Starling’. It was taken by Daniel Trim from the United Kingdom.


Luke WilkinsonAbove: From the 2019 BPOTY Awards, and entitled ‘Urban Grey Heron, this image was taken in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, by Luke Wilkinson from the United Kingdom.

Daniel TrimAbove: From the 2019 BPOTY Awards, this image of a Mistle Thrush is entitled ‘The Traffic Light Family’ and was taken by Daniel Trim from the United Kingdom.

162999Above: ‘Urban birds’ are a global phenomenon witness this Grey-headed Gull on the Gambian coast: here the species has adapted to living alongside people and benefiting from the community’s fishing industry. ©Paul Sterry/Nature Photographers Ltd.

156340Above: Thanks again to David Lindo, The Urban Birder. Photos: main image ©Rob Read/Nature Photographers Ltd; inset David Lindo ©Susana Sanroman.