The other day a colleague showed me a Killdeer nest with four eggs near the campus tennis courts. Later I went back to photograph the nest and had a very hard time finding it, even though it is on a stretch of completely open ground and I had made careful mental notes about its location.
When I reached the nest and took a photo, a pair of adult Killdeer appeared from nowhere and stood watching me. One went scuttling away along the tennis court fence. I didn't move and so the other Killdeer decided to distract me. It started spreading its tail and squawking in apparent distress. "Look at me. I'm injured. You could catch me easily."
It hobbled away. "Oh, look. One of my wings is broken."
I followed. "Oh, no. Now my other wing is broken."
"Now I'm exhausted and totally defenceless."
Once I was a safe distance from the nest, the bird miraculously recovered from its injuries and flew off, happy in the knowledge that it had fooled a dangerous predator.
I'll keep an eye on the nest until the eggs hatch - but I'll do so from a distance so as not to stress the parents any further.