Walthamstow Wetlands, London (ATM)
Gallery Words : Team Wanderlust | 10 August 2019

10 of street artist ATM's incredible murals of endangered birds

ATM has spent years painting the planet's most endangered birdlife in bright, unignorable murals over our towns and cities, all to make us pay attention. Discover some of his finest work here...

From my earliest days I was obsessed with birds, and drawing and painting them.

Birds and animals have always held a fascination for me. I love going off to the places where they live, sitting still and waiting for them to appear.
Walthamstow Wetlands, London (ATM)

Walthamstow Wetlands, London (ATM)

Bittern, Hackney, London (ATM)

Bittern, Hackney, London (ATM)

With these murals, I want to reach people in their everyday lives, to show them huge images of the creatures that often go unnoticed or unknown.

Working with like-minded artists and a local community group on a housing estate in West London, we got to work on some big bare walls.

I decided to paint a snipe, a wetland bird, as the road was Bollo Bridge Road, which once crossed the river Bollo, now hidden beneath the tarmac, like so many urban streams and rivers. It seemed a fitting metaphor for what we are losing.
Bullfinch in Turnpike, London (ATM)

Bullfinch in Turnpike, London (ATM)

I got such an overwhelming response from local people, they were so grateful that someone had taken the time to add some colour and vitality to their estate.

They were so curious about what a snipe was and why I’d painted it, that everything fell into place. I realised I'd found my niche.
Mistle thrush, Greenwich, London (Mark Hat)

Mistle thrush, Greenwich, London (Mark Hat)

Hen harrier, Isle of Sheppey, Kent (ATM)

Hen harrier, Isle of Sheppey, Kent (ATM)

One of my favourite murals is the hen harrier on an isolated concrete WWII pill box on the Isle of Sheppey.

I painted in the wind and the sun, while the waders were wheeling around the shoreline, making their evocative calls as I worked.
Griffon vulture, Madrid (ATM)

Griffon vulture, Madrid (ATM)

Red breasted merganser, Utsira Island, Norway (ATM)

Red breasted merganser, Utsira Island, Norway (ATM)

Golden plover, Utsira Island, Norway (ATM)

Golden plover, Utsira Island, Norway (ATM)

The red-breasted merganser on the Island of Utsira in the North Sea is also a favourite, on a big black rock below a rusting radar station, again a relic from the war, which has since fallen into the sea.

They both symbolise to me the ultimate survival of nature as human conflict and damage recedes into history.
White tailed eagle, Stavanger, Norway (ATM/Toris64)

White tailed eagle, Stavanger, Norway (ATM/Toris64)

Williamson's Sapsucker, new York, United States (ATM)

Williamson's Sapsucker, new York, United States (ATM)

ATM will be on the Leica Sport Optics stand at British Birdfair located at Rutland Water from the 16 to 18 August. For more information on Leica Sport Optics website  

Love birds, too? Read these next:

The Wanderlust guide to birding

Mya-Rose Craig's best birdwatching spots

7 places to see birds of prey in the UK

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