The best lenses for bird photography and wildlife in 2024: get frame-filling shots

With the best lenses for bird photography, you can get closer to birds and capture incredibly sharp, beautiful images. If you're looking to capture images of wild birds in flight, you need a lens that can keep up as well as a capable camera – indeed, your lens choice is arguably even more important than your camera choice. So, we're here to help.

Swarovski CL Companion 10x30
Sebastian Oakley

For nearly two decades Sebastian's work has been published internationally. As an enthusiast photographer, he has been shooting since the film days using a Nikon F5. Here, he brings his seasoned expertise to picking out the best lenses for bird photography, with the help of our chief lens tester Matthew Richards.

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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.

With contributions from