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Nicholas Birks

Former Commonwealth Games representative (javelin throw), a finalist in 1958, winning a bronze medal in 1962 and a silver medal in 1966.

Nicholas and his wife lived on a farm at Keith for thirty years, where their three children were born and grew up. They originally took up a scrub block and gradually transformed it into a sheep and cattle property. Thirty percent of the land was set aside as nature reserves with livestock excluded. During those years one of his greatest loves was studying and photographing animal behavior.

Photography was always part of his life and wildlife held a constant fascination. He created opportunities with innovative methods to photograph wildlife which eventually won him the 1990 Australian Magazine / Nikon Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award.

He has provided photographs for books and magazine articles, as well as his 'Wildflight' postcard range, which recently won a gold medal at the 17th Australian Print Awards and a Year 2000 PICA, printing Industry Craftsmanship Award for Greeting and Postcards.

He photographs everything, from spiders and insects, to bats and birds in flight but his specialty has been birds of prey.
His book, 'Wild & Free '(New Holland), sold over 24000 copies and covers a wide range of natural history, with notes on behaviour and reference to the effects of clearing 'scrub' and the introduction of feral animals on native animals.

In the year 2000 he set out to photograph Australia's top track and field athletes in their quest for places in the Olympic team. He shared their joy and some disappointments throughout the season of Grand Prix events, Australian championships and Olympic trials. The main focus was to show field games athletes exhibiting good technique in the hope of providing shots that could inspire other young athletes. He continues to photograph major athletic competitions with the same aim in mind.

Nicholas regularly coaches athletes in field games and still competes in interclub "over 35" competition in Adelaide.
At present he is working on wedge-tailed eagles and white-bellied sea-eagles, and their interactions for another book.