"The Owl King" Dr. Wayne Lynch
Canada's Wildlife Specialist

text by Dr. Robert Berdan
May 22, 2011




Dr. Wayne Lynch and Great Gray Owl

The Owl King - Dr. Wayne Lynch

I learned about Dr. Lynch's photography years before I actually met and eventually got to know him as a friend. I went to his seminar on Bears, Bears, Bears in Calgary which was a sold out event at the Jubilee Auditorium about 10 years ago. Wayne's career started out as an emergency medical doctor, but found that he wasn't fulfilled and wanted to spend more time outdoors studying wildlife and taking pictures. He is by his own account a "Critter Junky" and would probably be happy observing wildlife even if he didn't own a camera. It's the science and the biology that interests him and through his photography and writing he tells stories and educates us about wildlife.

One of his "Best sellers" is a kids book "The Scoop on Poop". After reading it I asked him where he got all this knowledge " First hand observation" he says proudly. Of all the books of his I have read (about a dozen), his book on Owls is my favourite. It is easy to read, filled with facts and personal observations and some of the best owl photographs I have seen. Among the top nature photographers only a few are able to take world class photographs and also write clearly - Wayne is one of them.

Hunting Great Gray Owl by Dr. Wayne Lynch ©

Hunting Great Gray Owl

Wayne has travelled the globe leading tours to Antarctica and other remote areas, and he is also an outstanding speaker. Unlike some professional nature photographers I have met, he is willing to share his knowledge and secrets about where to find various animals and freely provides tips on how to take better pictures. In part this may be because he has already achieved so much and it appears unlikely that anyone will surpass his publishing success in the near future.

Short-eared owl by Dr. Wayne Lynch ©

Short-eared owl

Wayne is a fellow of the internationally recognized Explorers Club - a select group of scientists, eminent explorers and distinguished persons, noteworthy for their contributions to world knowledge and exploration. Membership is by invitation only and has included such renowned explorers as Peary, Lindbergh, Byrd, Roosevelt, Stefansson and Issac Asimov. He is also an elected Fellow of the prestigious Arctic Institute of North America. He was elected in recognition of his contributions to the knowledge of polar and subpolar regions. The electing board applauded his diverse career as a naturalist, wildlife photographer and science writer.

Boreal owls by Dr. Wayne Lynch ©

Boreal Owls

Over the past few years I have got to know Wayne better and have had the opportunity to photograph with him on several occasions. He is a "Walking Encyclopedia" and when we go out to photograph birds and other animals I always enjoy learning about the biology of the animals. He has also given me valuable advice on writing. Wayne doesn't appear to have any special animals he prefers to photograph, but rather it is whatever interests him at the time whether it is bears, birds, mantees or scorpions. Below is a short video interview I made of him in 2009 while we were out photographing a Northern Hawk Owl.

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Interview with Dr. Wayne Lynch - North of Calgary, March 15, 2009

Aubrey Lang and Dr. Wayne Lynch

Wayne's partner, Aubrey Lang loves to share her wildlife experiences with children, is the author of 16 books for young readers. She is also the author of Loons, a book for adults which has been reprinted five times and sold over 50,000 copies. The couple’s impressive photo credits include hundreds of magazine covers, thousands of calendar shots, and tens of thousands of images published worldwide.


Owls of the United States and Canada book by Dr. Wayne Lynch ©

Published by Johns Hopkins University Press, the oldest and one of the the most prestigious scholarly presses in North America.

This is, in short, far and away the best owl book this reviewer has seen designed especially for
general audiences.  The writing is clear, concise, scientifically accurate, and totally readable.

Current Reviews for Academic Libraries 


The best advice I have heard from Wayne is:

                          "We should do more of the things that make us happy and less of things that don't."

Check out his books and if you get a chance to see one of his slide presentations or listen to one of his lectures you won't be disappointed. Also visit his web site to see more of his spectacular wildlife photographs. RB


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