Life as a hatchling is always a precarious time in a birds life. There are plenty of opportunists looking for tender young meat. If you are lucky to survive you prepare yourself as best you can to take that first leap of faith into fresh air and hope your wings land you safely. Then you learn to feed yourself by following and watching your parents before finally making your own way in the world.
If you are a pair of Darter chicks you soon outgrow the small nest of sticks you were born on and spend your days precariously perched on an exposed branch while you wait for your parents to bring you food and water. As you get older and your soft downy feathers are replaced by a new permanent coat you practice flapping your wings and toning your muscles for that first flight. One mistake and you have had it because the water below is home to water monitors that would love such a wholesome meal.
Sometimes you get over-confident and lose your balance and almost, very nearly almost become monitor food. However, by some miraculous luck and huge effort you somehow manage to recover from certain death by the skin of your neck!
Whew….Lets face it, that was a close one!!!!