Louise de Kiriline Lawrence

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Louise de Kiriline Lawrence (January 30, 1894 – April 27, 1992) was an internationally renowned naturalist, author and nurse. She was the most prolific contributor to the National Audubon Society magazine Audubon.

Early life[edit]

Louise de Kiriline Lawrence was born on January 30, 1894, in Sweden.


De Kiriline Lawrence trained as a nurse and was employed by the Danish Red Cross during World War I.[1] She married a Russian officer in 1918 and subsequently worked as a nurse in Russia. After the death of her husband in the Russian Revolution, de Kiriline Lawrence emigrated to Canada in 1927 and continued to work as a nurse. Stationed in rural northern Ontario, she became well-known as the nurse to the Dionne quintuplets during the first year of their lives.

After her involvement with the Dionne quintuplets, de Kiriline Lawrence began a new career as an ornithologist and nature writer. She is recognized for her study of the Red-eyed Vireo, which identified the songbird as capable of producing 22,197 distinct calls in a single day.[2] De Kiriline Lawrence carried out the majority of her scientific work on her property, located outside of North Bay, Ontario.

She was an Elective Member of the American Ornithologists' Union and received an Honorary LL.D. from Laurentian University in 1970.[3]


  • The Quintuplets' First Year (1936)
  • The Loghouse Nest (1945)
  • A Comparative Life History Study of Four Species of Woodpeckers (1967)
  • The Lovely and the Wild (1968)
  • Mar: A Glimpse into the Natural Life of a Bird (1976)
  • Another Winter, Another Spring: A Love Remembered (1977)
  • To Whom the Wilderness Speaks (1980)


  • The Burroughs Medal, 1969
  • The Sir G. D. Roberts Special Award, 1969
  • Francis H. Kortright Outdoor Writing Award, 1980


  1. ^ Ainley, Marianne Gosztonyi (1992). "In Memoriam: Louise de Kiriline Lawrence, 1894–1992". The Auk 109 (4): 909. doi:10.2307/4088171. 
  2. ^ De Kiriline Lawrence, Louise (1980). To Whom the Wilderness Speaks. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd. pp. 68–75. 
  3. ^ Ainley, Marianne Gosztonyi (1992). "In Memoriam: Louise de Kiriline Lawrence, 1884–1992.". The Auk 109 (4): 910. doi:10.2307/4088171. 

Further reading[edit]

  • De Kiriline Lawrence, Louise. “Why Did You Come to Canada?” Chatelaine, October 1937, 21 & 53.
  • Mohr, Merilyn. “To Whom the Wilderness Speaks: The remarkable life of Louise de Kiriline Lawrence.” Harrowsmith 83, (1989): 72–81.
  • Nero, Robert W. Woman by the Shore and Other Poems: A Tribute to Louise de Kiriline Lawrence. Toronto: Natural Heritage, 1990.

External links[edit]