This image of the sword-billed hummingbird is a special one for photographer Mark Thomas.

“In the picture you can see how it is virtually made for the trumpet flower,” he says. Taken on the Eastern Slopes of the Andes Mountains in Ecuador and using a multiple flash setup, it was only after several days of photography that Thomas was able to make this image. This hummingbird ignored the flower for some time until it finally came in to drink. Luckily, the bird took several drinks, Thomas says. “The key to this shot was waiting for him to pull back and regroup before coming in for another sip,” he says. “Otherwise, his entire bill was lost inside the flower.”

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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