toronto wildlife

Toronto photographer launches video series documenting the city's wildlife

Last year, wildlife photographer Andrew Budziak started his attempt to photograph every wild mammal that calls Toronto home, from coyotes and deer to bats and raccoons. 

The popularity of this Instagram journey led to plenty of attention across social media for the 35-year-old photographer. Before long he was responding to comments, DMs and messages of people asking where he's finding these animals, what gear is being used and so on.

Then, new inspiration struck.

"I realised: I work in video, that’s what I do. Why not combine all this?" Budziak told blogTO. "I called some friends and said, 'Here’s this idea… let’s go do it punk-rock style.'"

The result was a collaboration with his friends Ryan Morgan and Mark Utley where they've begun a reality show-style video series filming Budziak's journey.

Each episode focuses on a different animal, with the first six-and-a-half-minute long video detailing what it's like to seek out a coyote, which Budziak describes as the king of urban wildlife.

Budziak's hope is that these videos help tell the stories of animals that most Toronto residents may not be familiar with, or may not even realise live in their backyard.

"We went out to see if we could tell a coyote story and we did," Budziak said. "Nobody’s telling these stories about urban wildlife and we wanted to take it a step further. I wanted to use a cool animal to tell the story of what these animals are up against, losing habitats."

Budziak saw the series as a way to not only showcase the amazing wildlife found within Toronto's borders but also to discuss the issues a bit. It's done to show that these stunning creatures are in danger of leaving the city if Toronto keeps losing its green space.

Budziak says he and his team draw inspiration for the format from a number of sources including Top Gear, Anthony Bourdain, Adrienne Arsenault and various YouTube channels.

The social media landscape means that anyone can tell the stories they want to tell, and Budziak's team is taking full advantage.

"We have these platforms, and we can tell these stories," Budziak said. "I feel like I’m 14 again, recording rock and roll demos with my friends in the basement. It has this punk rock feel that I’m super excited to be doing."

Titled "Edge of Frame," the video series is being posted to InstagramTV, via Budziak's page.

Lead photo by

Ryan Morgan

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