Louise de Kiriline Lawrence

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Louise de Kiriline Lawrence (née Flach; 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 met a Russian officer, Lt. Gleb Kirilin, in Denmark, and married him in 1918. He returned to Russia to fight in the Russian Civil War, and she followed him there. Gleb Kirilin disappeared in Siberia where, unknown to his wife, he was shot. She worked as a nurse in Russia for several years while she searched for him.[2][3] In 1927 de Kiriline Lawrence emigrated to Canada 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.

She retired from nursing in 1935, and lived in a cabin in Northern Ontario. She met Leonard Lawrence, a carpenter, and married him in 1939. By this time she had begun 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.[4] 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.[5]


  • 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)



  1. ^ Ainley, Marianne Gosztonyi (1992). "In Memoriam: Louise de Kiriline Lawrence, 1894–1992". The Auk. 109 (4): 909. doi:10.2307/4088171.
  2. ^ Heritage Perspectives by Doug Mackey, May 10, 2002: Remembering the Late, Great Lady: Louise de Kiriline Lawrence
  3. ^ Эдуардович, Шергалин Евгений (2017). "Луиза Оскаровна Кирилина Лоуренс (1894-1992) - забытая в России медсестра, гуманист и орнитолог". Русский орнитологический журнал. 26 (1426). ISSN 0869-4362.
  4. ^ De Kiriline Lawrence, Louise (1980). To Whom the Wilderness Speaks. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd. pp. 68–75.
  5. ^ 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]