Editor’s note: This article was published before the coronavirus pandemic, and may not reflect the current situation on the ground.

Captivated by birds since he was a child, David Lindo has turned his hobby into a career. Now known as the Urban Birder, he’s on a mission to get everyone, particularly city-dwellers, better engaged with the nature around us.

As we walk, heads low, checking phones for headlines, updates and messages, it’s not just lamppost injuries, presidential tweets and chronic neckache that we risk.

We’re missing out on nature. Yes, even in cities. For 18 years, Londoner and nature-lover David Lindo aka the Urban Birder has been encouraging people to connect with their environment—through the medium of birds. Yes, birds. You don’t have to be a birdwatcher; you just have to, as he says, #lookup.

“People are brought up thinking birds are hard to see or they’re only in rural areas or you need to be an expert to identify them,” he tells me. “It’s been exasperated by the media because they portray wildlife in the ‘countryside’ or in series like Blue Planet which is amazing but raises the bar so high that wildlife-viewing, with animals attacking and killing each other, becomes entertainment. Kids especially grow up thinking, ‘If it can’t kill me, it’s not interesting’.”