The kildeer (Charadrius vociferus) is famous for not only laying its eggs in a nest on the ground, but, because of the danger of predators finding its eggs, for giving several displays to lead predators away from the nest. As the Cornell Lab website notes:
The Killdeer’s broken-wing act [it acts as if it’s injured while walking away from the next, tempting predators to nom the faux-wounded bird and ignore the eggs] leads predators away from a nest, but doesn’t keep cows or horses from stepping on eggs. To guard against large hoofed animals, the Killdeer uses a quite different display, fluffing itself up, displaying its tail over its head, and running at the beast to attempt to make it change its path.
You can hear five of its calls here. Reader Stephen Barnard (surprise!) sent a series of photos of a bird engaged in its distraction display. His notes:
This Killdeer was luring me from the nest.
Before anyone gets on my case for stressing birds, let me say that I wasn’t looking for the nest or chasing the bird. I was inspecting my 2-acre native wildflower seeding project for weeds and I had my camera.
I’ve also sent a photo of last year’s nest, which was literally right next to where I’d get in my truck. They hatched and raised four.
This looks like the “fluffing-up” display, though Stephen doesn’t note whether the bird was running at him.
But this looks like a broken-wing display:
What lovely eggs!