Nitzky’s striking image was taken in his backyard, in Tempe, Arizona. Using a honeysuckle bush as a blurry background, he was photographing hummingbirds as they flew to and from a feeder. They came to feed about every 15 minutes.
The honeysuckle was attracting lots of bees, too. While Nitzky was waiting for the hummers to return, this verdin landed in the bush. Suddenly, as Nitzky focused on the verdin, a honeybee appeared in the corner of his frame and flew right at the bird. He managed a series of shots as the bird lunged toward the bee, trying to catch it. The verdin missed, but as it settled back onto the branch, it came into “perfect eye-to-eye alignment with the bee,” says Nitzky, who shared their same focal plane. “It was just one of those lucky moments when everything came together.”
This image was a Top 100 photo from the 2013 Audubon Magazine Photography Awards. To see all of the photos, click here.