Bird-in-question was in our front yard, eating bugs off the ground. It looked similar to a red-bellied woodpecker, which we see fairly often in our back yard. But the body was darker and speckled, and it featured a handsome black semi-circle on its throat (properly called a "necklace," I soon learned).
Photo courtesy Wikipedia
I ran downstairs and snatched our handy and much-loved Stokes Beginner's Guide to Birds: Eastern Region. With its clever color-grouping arrangement, I quickly found our bird: a northern flicker. We'd never before seen one.
Then we hit the 'Net. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds website is fantastic. We read about northern flickers, listened to recordings of their different calls and drums, and watched a short video. And that was our introduction to the northern flicker.
Maybe we'll see one again!