We had a little adventure today. As we were pulling out of the driveway to our apartment, we were startled by three tiny birds in the road. Three tiny birds and two older ones: a pair of killdeer parents and their three chicks. Killdeer nest on the ground, and even their chicks can run like the wind. These three did just that -- in three different directions! They took off wildly, their parents circling and calling at our car, trying to lead it away, which doesn't work well on cars. I hopped out, much to my wife's surprise, and chased them down and scooped them up, saving one narrowly from a kestrel, and took them inside to call Oaken Acres Wildlife Rescue Center, where I'd been heading for my Friday volunteer shift. I was told that killdeers often nest near roads, and to take them back out to where their parents are.
Well, there was no finding the nest, and I wanted to be careful because before they'd split up and nearly run into traffic. So we took them over and set them in an area where they were visible but there were bushes nearby they can hide in and set them down. Their parents circled, calling, trying to lead us away in classic killdeer behavior, and we let ourselves be lead. As we were headed out in the car once more, we spotted the parents circling down to look in on them.
Turns out that our timing was perfect. About ten to fifteen minutes later a severe thunderstorm rolled through, so our effort to reunited the scattered chicks and save them from the traffic probably kept them from being lost to the storm.