Talk to any nature photographer, and they’ll tell you that their best shots often come from patience and keen observation. Sure, there are those impromptu images that happen out of sheer luck, but more often than not a single photograph represents hours or even days of study and dedication. Every year the judges of the Audubon Photography Awards, including myself, are treated to hundreds of photographs capturing unusual or rare bird behaviors. Some are surely a lucky snap, but most are the products of time and patience. This year’s awards provided plenty of such shots, and these are some of our favorite moments from the 2018 entrants.