High flyer // Secret Life

Orie Niedzviecki shows off his wings

By Precedent

On Thursday March 10th, 2011

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photo by Daniel Ehrenworth

Orie Niedzviecki
Partner, Ellyn Law LLP

“Avocet in Ajax.” When that subject line appeared in Orie Niedzviecki’s inbox, his heart fluttered. With its cinnamon-coloured head, long beak and blue, stilt-like legs, the avocet is a beauty — and a rarity in the GTA.

Soon, Niedzviecki was peering through binoculars onto a lakefront mudflat, maneuvering around other birders for the best view.

The Ellyn Law LLP partner always liked birds, but got serious about birdwatching in university, where he majored in zoology. “I like being outside, observing nature. A more anal part of me likes the categorization, to identify a bird and tick it off my list,” he says.

Now, with three kids and a busy practice, Niedzviecki mostly birds on the fly. He points out hawks to his kids, buys field guides for holidays abroad and once spotted a majestic peregrine falcon on an examination for a discovery.

So what does his wife think when Niedzviecki makes a U-turn on a Mexican highway to chase after his prey? “She just cowers and waits for it to be over.”

Web exclusive: Outtakes from the photo shoot

photography by Daniel Ehrenworth