Every day for two weeks Timothy Rucci set out to take a fantastic flight shot of lilac-breasted roller. He was on a wildlife photo safari in Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, photographing a rich array of wildlife each day. But the roller image he was after eluded him until his very last day.

The challenge, Rucci says, was that the bird seemed to “spring to flight very quickly when leaving a perch, making flight shots challenging.” In fact, rollers get their name from their courtship flight, a fast, shallow dive from great heights, accompanied by a rolling or fast rocking motionAfter two weeks of watching and waiting, he finally got the shot he was after.

This image was a Top 100 photo from the 2013 Audubon Magazine Photography Awards. To see all of the photos, click here

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