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Street art reminds UK of its endangered wildlife

Goldfinch. Painting and photograph by ATM

Kiwis and travellers are continuing to add to London’s urban sprawl; many of the capital’s native birds have struggled to do the same. London-based street artist ATM is highlighting the struggle with a series of beautiful wall murals of Britain’s rare and endangered birds.

Perhaps one of the most recognisable of the avians is the barn owl, a popular trope in English children’s books. The owl, with a wistful look in his eyes, takes centre stage on a wall of a South Acton estate. On his Tumblr page featuring his works, ATM says: “Barn Owls need 17 hectares of rough grassland to hunt voles. They can live near people and nest in old buildings or tree holes. How amazing it would be to have them back living in London. With habitat restoration it could happen.”

Photograph by ATM

In an interview with The Guardian, ATM says he discovered and fell in love with the works of 19th century illustrators, such as John James Audubon and John Gould, early on in his career. This influence is clear in the highly detailed paintings, bringing back the spirit of England’s forgotten wildlife.

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