The feeder this hummingbird is so daintily perched upon is one of more than 35 in Melanie Gloster's yard in Texarkana, Arkansas. On any given day, this surfeit of feeders gives her plenty of avian subject matter to photograph. But this day was particularly special. The sun was setting behind Gloster as she began to photograph the hummingbird, casting the delicate female in an ethereal light and throwing the background into shadow.
"I've traveled to exotic places to take pictures, and I've spent hours waiting for the perfect shot," Gloster says. But no amount of preparation can replace serendipity. "I could not have gotten this shot if I had planned for days," she says.
This image was a Top 100 photo from the 2012 Audubon Magazine Photography Awards. To see all of the photos, click here.