About Ian

Ian Lewington has been watching and drawing birds for as long as he can remember. His fascination was kindled at the age of five when his father began taking him on nature walks in the Berkshire countryside close to his home. As he became more familiar with the species he saw the diversity of birdlife, subtleties of plumage variation and the unending learning curve of birding captured his imagination. Encouraged by his elder brother Richard, an illustrator of entomological subjects, Ian set his sights on following in his brotherís footsteps.

His main interests continue to be the identification and taxonomy of holarctic birds.

Ian enjoys foreign birding (when time allows) and has travelled widely throughout the Western Palearctic as well as to North America, South America, India, China, Antarctica and Spitsbergen in search of birds.


Ianís work can be found in a variety of field guides and publications including:

Rare Birds of Britain and Europe with authors Per Alstrom and Peter Colston (Collins 1991)

Auks of the World (OUP 1998)

Birds of the Western Palearctic

Handbook of the Birds of the World (Lynx Edicions)

Ian has also contributed to guides covering the birds of Southeast Asia, India, Madagascar, and Malaysia and produced plates for identification articles and papers describing species new to science for a variety of journals.  These include Birding World, British Birds, Dutch Birding, Limicola, Var Fagelvarld, Ibis, The Auk and the Wilson Bulletin.

Current work:

Ian has now completed work on 260 plates of illustrations for Rare Birds of North America, the first comprehensive guide to the vagrant birds that occur in The US and Canada.  This guide, published  by Princeton Press, is now available in bookshops and online.


British Birds Bird Illustrator of the Year 1985

Richard Richardson awards 1985

Other Activities

County Bird Recorder for Oxfordshire since 1994

Member of the British Ornithological Union Records Committee

Identification consultant to Birding World