Author Bio for Magi Nams


I’m a writer, naturalist, and traveller who has always loved nature and the written word.  I’m the author of the travel adventure trilogy Cry of the Kiwi: A  Family’s New Zealand Adventure and the nature-writing personal journey Seasons on Matheson Brook. I’ve written dozens of articles for Ranger Rick, a children’s nature magazine with a global audience and have written wildlife-related pamphlets for government and conservation groups, published poetry and biographical profiles, broadcast radio essays, and taught creative writing workshops for children and adults.

I grew up milking cows, pitching bales, and hoeing weeds on an Alberta farm. Always inspired by the world around me, I pursued university studies in zoology and plant ecology, rounding out the book learning with hands-on experience digging for fossils in the foothills of the Rockies, live-trapping mice in the Northwest Territories, measuring plant communities in the High Arctic, live-trapping skunks in Manitoba, and describing forests in the Yukon Territory. At some point, I realized that my heart yearned for writing, which I’ve always loved, even more than science.

I now live on 78 acres of forest and meadows in Nova Scotia, Canada, and do my best to combine my two loves by writing about nature. My science background came in handy during the ten years I homeschooled each of my two sons. I have a passion for nature and love to travel in search of new wildlife and landscapes, which I enjoy featuring in my blog. When I’m not out adventuring, you can find me happily writing, gardening, birding, and photographing nature at the home I share with my husband.

Thanks for visiting, and I look forward to your comments.

– Magi Nams

34 thoughts on “Author Bio

  1. Hi Magi and Vilis:

    The pictures are beautiful (especially of the birds) and the narratives very interesting Hope you are doing well. Debbie and I are finished the year in Montreal and will be moving to Bathurst on Saturday (May 1). We can’t believe how fast the year has gone. We will be getting to Truro occassionaly over the summer. I know that jonhas been keeping in touch with Dainis and Janis> Last time we phoned home, Janis was at the house. Looking forward to hearing and seeing more of your travels.

    Glen and Debbie

  2. Hi, Glen and Debbie,

    How wonderful to hear from you! I’m glad you’re enjoying A Year in Australia, and can promise many more adventures and photographs to come. We’ll be heading to desert country in Western Australia in late May, and possibly to the Northern Territory in August. In the meantime, we’ll continue with our explorations of Queensland’s tropics, which we’re enjoying tremendously. All the best!


  3. Dear Magi,

    I am a photography student at Austin Community College. I have a portrait assignment where I am supposed to take a portrait in studio and then paste it into an image. I desperately need a jungle scene but can’t afford to buy an image from stock photo sites. I would be using this image for the assignment. I shot a girl with a boa constrictor wrapped around her and need to paste her into a jungle/rainforest. Could I please use one of your images from your blog? I know many people would have just copied it and used it, but I wanted to get your permission. As a future photographer, I understand how important copyright is, and wouldn’t want to use it without your consent. Thank you!
    Leanne Brawner

  4. Hello Magi and Vilis, New Zealand!!! We were there some 15 years ago. Just like us a lifetime away. Gareth just took his first driving test. The boys all play hockey, music and generally keep us on the road. When you email I’ll send you a family photo from Sheep Mtn last year, taken by Gerry Holdsworth who just happened to be on ther Mtn too.

    If you bump in Andrea Byrom please say hello.

    Hey Vilis I was trying to track you down. I’m radio tracking Sooty Grouse on Haida Gwaii and was wondering if I should be using your LOCATE program?

    All the best strangers, Frank, Cathy, Gareth, Glyn and Evan.

  5. Hello Mrs Nams,

    As a student at Columbia University working on putting design touches on the final report of our capstone research project a picture from your blog caught my eye and I was wondering if we might be able to get your permission to use it. Our research involves the development of assessment methodologies for REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degredation) and therefore will be themed with rainforest images and their is a picture of a strangler fig which I believe was taken by your husband which I think would look great in providing this motif. Unfortunately we do not have funding to be able to purchase the rights to use this image but it would not be used in any commertial capacity, simply as a visual aid in our consultation with our workshops client the coalition of rainforest nations (
    Of course you would be cited in the reference section of our final report and I would be glad to share this with you if you care to see it. Thank you for considering this if you have any questions you can reach me at . .

  6. Hi Magi,

    I a student at James Cook University in Townsville, and I was just wondering the location along the Ross River in Townsville, where the photo of the Alexandra Palms were taken. This is in reference to the photo in the November 11th, 2010.

    I look forward to your response, and thank you.


  7. Hi Magi,

    We’ve been working on some interpretation/educational panels for a dinosaur tracksite in the Warner Valley, St George, UT area. We found that the picture of the emu track clearly illustrates how today’s ratites are linked to the dinosaurs. We would like to get your permission to use it on the panel.

    Please contact me at



  8. Hi Magi,

    I found now your beautiful blog and I’m quite happy of this!
    It’s just like a sign of destiny, beacause my boyfriend an I will go to Australia and New Zealand next July (cannot wait for this!! 🙂 and we also like tracking, adventure, and enjoy the beauty of nature everywhere we can.
    Your blog will be a great inspiration for us, so thank you for all the things you posted and the ones you are posting now and in the future.
    (Please be patient with my awful English, I’m Italian.)

    Many kind regards to you and Vilis and all the best for this new year (without Apocalypse, I hope 😉

    Venezia, Italia

  9. Thanks, Nora!

    I’m so glad you’re enjoying my blog, and best wishes for a wonderful trip to Australia and New Zealand in July. Both countries are fabulous hiking destinations. New Zealand has spectacular landscapes, and Australia’s wildlife is amazing, as are its rainforests, deserts, and the Great Barrier Reef. You’ll love them.

    Take care,

    P.S. I’ve been to Venezia!

  10. Hi Magi, I happened across your blog today and I am thrilled that I did. I live in Townsville in an old Queenslander in Hermit Park. You truly have captured the vibe and beauty of the tropics both with your words and photographs. I often cruise around The Ville and imagine I am here for the first time, seeing this place with new eyes and marvel at what a wonderful place it is. Of course it is wonderful because when I am doing this I’m in an air conditioned car so I am not suffering in the humidity or I am strolling on The Strand with a sea breeze at least.
    You have captured the essence of this place to a T and I think it’s a shame that most folk that live here will never appreciate their surrounds, and it’s here for all and free for the viewing.
    I look forward to reading your blog in detail, and I may even get up damn early tomorrow morning and go for a walk along Ross River to the golf course; Castle Hill can wait, until March at least.
    Thank you and happy travels.

  11. Magi
    Do you think you will every return to Townsville? You certainly did arrive with the Big Wet! This year we have only had two days of rain thus far.



  12. Lianne,
    Glad you’re enjoying my blog. Townsville was amazing. It was so full of the noise and colour and smells of the tropics. Vilis and I were continually enthralled by new sites and adventures both in the Townsville area and in other parts of Australia. Our year in your beautiful and dangerous country was one we’ll never forget. We miss the Ross River Parkway. Also, our Canadian birds (as much as we love them) just don’t possess that parrot pizzaz you’re so fortunate to see every day. Townsville is definitely a birding hotspot, even for Australia. The butterflies are marvelous, too. I could go on and on, but you know all about the city’s beauties and intriguing wildlife. Give The Ville a big mental hug from me.



  13. Lianne,

    I’d love to return to Townsville. I’m hoping to write a book based on Vilis’s and my year in Australia, so I may get back there. I’m amazed that you’ve only had two days of rain so far in January. Sounds like the Wet is definitely late this year.



  14. Hi Magi,
    I’m trying to source an image of a red kangaroo for a publication being written by Professor John Simons at Macquarie University, and came across your image: “Red Kangaroo, Cunyu Station, Western Australia (© Vilis Nams)”. I was wondering if we could have permission to use the image, if it is suitable, and if it is possible to get a higher resolution image (300 dpi and 12 cms minimum, but doesn’t need to be much larger than this). My email is
    Kind regards,

  15. Hi Maggie,
    I am helping a friend with the development of a life coaching site to help people improve their life and achieve their goals. It is very new and very small but there is an image we would just LOVE to use of tree roots and other of a bridge. Is there any chance you would let us use these? We don’t have much of budget but could pay something small if you prefer or we could list your name in a resource section?
    Thanks so much Maggie – as know one knows the site is being built I took the liberty of places your images in the home page so you can see exactly how they would be used.
    Happy travels and beautiful work.

  16. hi Magi , I am an Aussie and just travelled to Alice Springs recently. We just walked the Ormiston pound walk and it was heart warming to look at your photos of this area, it bought back memories of the warmth the smell vistas animals birds incects and reptiles a virtual paradise for us. I am most keen on rocks and central Australia is like a geologists lollie shop for me. We only get to travel for 2 weeks a year and hope to go to Lune river Tasmania next year to fossick for opalised tree fern. You certainly travel far and wide. I will continue to look at and read your blog its fascinating and I enjoy the writing, I can tell you love the natural world . Cheers and gooday from Australia

  17. Gooday, Wendy!

    Great to hear from you! My husband and I loved the desert around Alice Springs and wished we could have spent more time there. The landscape, vegetation, birds, and even the air were so different from coastal Queensland, where we were based, that it was like arriving in a new country. When you return from Tassie, I’d love to hear about your fossicking adventure. Opalized tree fern sounds amazing. Take care.


  18. Hi Magi,
    I work for NZ’s Department of Conservation at Tongariro National Park. I have seen your beautiful photo of the Ohinetonga Lagoon near Tongariro National Park in NZ. Please contact me about the possible use of this photo, thank you.

  19. Hello,
    I am wanting to get permission to use a picture of yours for a teaching manual I am writing about Strangler Fig trees…could you tell me how to go about doing that?
    Thank you,
    Dale Anderson

  20. Thanks for your interest, Dale. Strangler figs are amazing! I’ll contact you via e-mail about permisssion to use the photo.


  21. Sarah, thanks for visiting my site. The Ohinetonga Lagoon is sureley a magical place in the North Island New Zealand rainforest. I’ll contact you via e-mail regarding permission to use the photo.


  22. Pia, thanks for visiting my site. Queensland’s rainforest giants are truly awe inspiring. My husband Vilis took the photo, so he’ll contact you via e-mail about permission. Cheers!


  23. Magi

    I am writing to ask permission for the use of pictures from your website on my own. I am a student at Edge Hill university, Lancashire, England.

    I am creating a website based around the effect of climate change on Australian bird populations.

    The picture will be clearly referenced on the page it is used on and it would be much appreciated if i can get the go ahead for using this picture. The website is purely for educational purposes and there will be no profit taken from this website that i am creating.

    URL for the picture i wish to use:

    Many thanks

    Tom Holdway

  24. Hi, Tom. Thanks for visiting my site. Your project on effect of climate change on Australian birds sounds interesting and significant. I’ll contact you via e-mail to discuss photo use permission. Good luck with the project!


  25. Hi Magi,
    My name is Eric Clopper, I work for Professor Aziz of Harvard University. He is currently making an energy technology textbook and he would love to use your image of the man with sugar cane on your website at .
    If you could please contact me at, we can quickly do the permissions. Thank you for your time.
    Sincerely Yours,
    Eric Clopper
    Editorial assistant to Professor Aziz

  26. Hi Eric,
    Thanks for visiting my blog. I’ll e-mail you about the use of the photo image.

  27. Magi

    I am wondering if I could have permission to use one of two of your Tablelands photos on my soon to launch blog. Both photos are of board walks (“Tablelands Trail”and “Vilis Decending Lookout Trail”). The images are symbolic of the need to not go off course in terms of organizational and team ethics. The post will be called Conduct Becoming.

    I work at Dalhousie University in Halifax. Thanks


  28. Grant, thanks for visiting my blog. The Tablelands in Newfoundland are amazing! Thanks also for requesting permission to use my copyrighted photos. I’ll reply via e-mail.


  29. Hello Magi,

    I’m interested to find out more about using one of your copyrighted photos, particularly the North Queensland Collage of Rainforest and Sugarcane from 2010, for an upcoming presentation at the Global Landscapes Forum. I see from past posts that you respond to these usage inquiries via email, so if possible, could you please email me at as soon as possible?


  30. Heather, thanks for stopping by my blog. North Queensland has such stunning landscapes, and the Global Landscapes Forum sounds fascinating. I’ll e-mail you about photo permission.


  31. Kia ora:

    I’ve just found your site while researching the Ohinetonga track in Owhangao, New Zealand. I’ve read your 2010 post about the track. I live nearby in Taumarunui and walk the track regularly. I am originally from Nova Scotia (Pictou County) and will be sure to read more of your blog posts. All the best with your upcoming book about your time in New Zealand. I independently publish my own novels here in New Zealand and they each have some Nova Scotia content as well.

  32. Kia ora Anthony!

    I’m so glad you visited my site. Taumarunui was my family’s supply base while we lived in Owhango, researching stoats in the Tongariro Forest Conservation Area. Hearing from you has brought back memories of delicious New Zealand ice cream flavours in the heat of summer, of the great bakery on Taumarunui’s main street, of Miitre 10 Hardware and the old Regent Cinema, and of the goldfish swimming in a fishpond beside the main street. The Ohinetonga Scenic Reserve became our backyard haunt, and my twelve-year-old son did a Scout project sampling small mammal tracks in four habitats alongside the Ohinetonga Loop Track. My family especially enjoyed Ohinetonga Lagoon and spent hours swimming in it and floating on it on slabs of dense-cell foam insulation. Such fun! I wish you every success with your writing. Best wishes from near Tatamagouche!

  33. Hi Magi,

    How are you?

    My name is Glen. I am writing to you from Australia. I would love to talk to you about your images (one in particular) and the possibility of acquiring the license / rights to use it on a website.

    Hoping to hear from you.

    Best Regards,

  34. Hi Glen,

    Thanks for visiting my blog. The year I spent in Australia was amazing! I’ll e-mail you about the photo.

    Best regards,

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