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Slideshow: Urban Wildlife Photo Awards finalists and winners

Urban Wildlife Photo Awards finalists and winners

The winners and finalists of the 2022 Urban Wildlife Photography Awards have been announced. The competition was organized by London-based photography platform, Picfair. Over 6,000 photographers from countries and territories around the world entered their favorite images of wild animals either in cities or with them in the backdrop.

Andrew Interisano, an amateur photographer who works in digital advertising by day, was declared the Overall Winner for his capture of two coyotes wandering a street in Ontario, Canada, at night.

‘I thought it was my car that had caught their attention as I rounded the corner, and maybe it had at first, but as I rolled down the window I heard it was another group of howling coyotes that had piqued their interest. I parked, turned the engine off, and frantically went to work with the camera… however, in the rush of that moment I was soon compelled to put my camera down and soak in the scene,’ Interisano says of his winning image.

All winning and finalist images for this free-to-enter competition can be viewed in Picfair’s gallery. Proceeds from sales benefit global conservation non-profit Re:Wild.

OVERALL WINNER: ‘Date Night’ by Andrew Interisano (Ontario, Canada)

Caption: I thought it was my car that had caught their attention as I rounded the corner, and maybe it had at first, but as I rolled down the window I heard it was another group of howling coyotes that had peaked their interest. I parked, turned the engine off, and frantically went to work with the camera… however, in the rush of that moment I was soon compelled to put my camera down and soak in the scene.

I’m uncertain if it was the outlying yips and howls eerily filling the street, or the clammy late-spring chill that made my hair stand on end – I do remember that the air was so thick with pollen from the local orchards that it was like a mist swirling amongst the street lamps; it smelled wonderfully sweet and mingled well with the freshly cut field across the street. I cherish that impulse to put the work aside and focus on experiencing the moment. Sometimes when you slow it down and tune your senses in, you walk away with more than just a photo.

Additional Info: As urban centers become more environmentally sound and welcoming to wildlife, it’s increasingly imperative that they and individuals take responsiblity when it comes to the education on ethical coexistence with urban wildlife.

There has been much debate in the town of Niagara-on-the- Lake regarding the coyote population due to some recent altercations with small dogs and their owners, including my own brother and his miniature poodle, Gordie.

These altercations usually happen because the coyotes are being fed, either directly or indirectly by humans, which encourages and increases their proximity tolerance to people, thus bludgeoning the door open for these creatures to be injustly demonized. It’s no easy feat, but I believe this can all be mitigated through ethical urban planning, public outreach and education, and stricter enforcement of wildlife feeding laws.

WINNER: Nightlife Category: ‘Life Beyond The Sewer’ By Austin Montero (USA)

Caption: The clock strikes midnight in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The lack of footsteps from above signals a rat (Rattus norvegicus) to peek out of a city sewer. It stands on its two hind legs and smells the air. What is he smelling? Food? Other rats? Or… danger?

Additional Info: Previously focused on researching sharks behavior and photographing animals in the wilderness as a hobby. But the pandemic forced me to stay in a small town for the last two years. This led me to find several animals using different parts of our city.

I have been surprised to see the number of urban structures that many species use. They shelter under bridges, move through aqueducts, or nest along roads. But usually, we don’t notice it. It has been quite interesting to see everything they do in our cities and how much our activities impact their lives.

WINNER: Daylight Category: ‘Window to the salt pan’ by Mano Aliczki (Hungary)

Caption: Greater flamingo feeding in an artificial salt pan seen through a ‘window’ on the levee. I have spotted the lonely flamingo on the water from the opposite bank and had to move quickly in position, anticipating (or rather hoping) it will line up with the wooden frame for a shot. The flamingo has lifted its head from under the water for a split second when reaching the frame allowing only one shot, before carrying on with feeding.

Additional Info: I spent a short holiday in Sardinia, Italy, a beautiful Mediterranean island which is famous for its huge colonies of greater flamingos. As I esearched the subject before the trip, I realized that a former salt evaporating site was turned into a national park just outside Cagliari, the biggest city on the island.

This national park is home of one of the largest flamingo colonies on the island and allows photography of flamingos with the city and the now abandoned salt evaporating facilities as backdrop, creating exciting compositional opportunities. In the shortlisted image, one of many taken at this site, I have managed to catch the moment when a feeding flamingo walked into a wooden frame in a levee on a salt pan.

WINNER: ‘Fancy Seeing You Here’ Category “Trash Panda” By Jill Finney (Canada)

Caption: A Raccoon peeks out from a drain pipe in Toronto.

Additional Info: I’ve dreamed of photographing wildlife since I was a kid and only started seriously shooting at the age of almost 50, during covid lockdown when I decided it was time to make my own NatGeo dreams come true, even if it was only squirrels in the backyard.

FINALIST: ‘Foggy Late Night Walk by The River Cam, Cambridge UK’ by Doug Wallace (Cambridge, UK)

Caption: Foggy late night walk by The River Cam, Cambridge UK. Picture taken from Jesus Green.

Additional Info: An amateur photographer looking to become professional.

FINALIST: ‘Fox Sheltering’ by Paul Simpson (Portsmouth, UK)

Caption: A beautiful urban fox sheltering from the snow.

Additional Info: When we had some snow flurries a month or so back I thought I’d take the opportunity to get out and see if I can get any shots of squirrels during the snow, however I was lucky enough to see this fox.

FINALIST: ‘Illuminated’ by Oliver Schultz (London, United Kingdom)

Caption: A pigeon perched on a red factory bulb during city wintertime.

Additional Info: I was walking back from Victoria Station on a cold English evening, and the twilight hour was fading. There was a chilly breeze cutting through the air, and while looking around, I saw a lonesome pigeon huddled against a warm light, just waiting for the night to pass.


FINALIST: ‘Oh Snap!’ by Barak (Kingston, Jamaica)

Caption: Monkey caught in action mid bite.

Additional Info: Watching the sunrise from the top of Mount Batur, followed by observing the monkeys rush and take all the leftover breakfasts. I tend to like to photograph monkeys in particular as they are very photogenic in my opinion because of their human like nature.

FINALIST: ‘Man You Scared Me’ by Kim Borg (Queensland, Australia)

Caption: Rainbow Lorikeets perched on a rail overlooking the ocean as another one drops in to join them and giving them a fright in the process.

Additional Info: The rainbow lorikeet is a species of parrot found in Australia. These beautiful birds are real playful characters with magnificent interactions.

FINALIST: ‘The Birds’ by Leanne Hay (Toronto, Canada)

Caption: My favorite spot for sunrise photography in Toronto gets even better in spring, when the cormorants fly west. I was set up for sunrise at 6: 30 a.m. and the cormorants started flying in slowly and then by the hundreds. The sound they make on mass is unforgettable. I have seen this a few times but never such a large quantity. What a memorable morning!

Additional Info: I’ve been into photography since working part-time at a camera store as a student back in the film days. I used to primarily take photos on my travels until I moved in Humber Bay Shores where the nature and sunrises captivated me. Photography was my savior during the pandemic.

FINALIST: ‘Migratory Birds’ by Mano Aliczki (Hungary)

Caption: European bee eaters perch on the fence of the airport.

Additional Info: I have discovered that one of the most spectacular looking migratory birds in Hungary, European bee eaters nest in a small colony near the International Airport of Budapest, Hungary. While these beautiful birds are very well photographed throughout Hungary in the wild, I was very interested to photograph them in an urban setting.

FINALIST: ‘Wren and Chipmunk, And Stay OUT’ by Susi Ryan (Vermont, United States)

Caption: Little Wren nesting in our backyard makes sure Chippie knows the boundaries! This little chipmunk is testing his life limits and little wren is having none of it. She is a feisty little thing.

FINALIST: ‘Beak in the Botanic Gardens’ by Leigh Henningham (Melbourne, Australia)

Caption: A swans beak at the Botanical gardens in Melbourne.

Additional Info: I first saw this pelican a few kilometers away at another beach and chased it on my bike along a foreshore bike path to where it landed hoping for a good city backdrop that I was happy with. I am always trying to capture the beauty and character of wild animals in an urban environment.

I love photographing wildlife in the city and suburban areas of Melbourne. They are beautiful and we share share their environment yet they have to adopt more to ours than we to theirs. I try to show the juxtaposition of their natural beauty to our man made world.