What Kind of bird is this? Its a regular visitor to my front yard's earthworm buffet. It has a long pointy beak, zig-zag feather patterns on its back, and a black half circle on its chest. Its also very shy, so I've had trouble getting a decent shot. The slightest sound/movement makes it fly away.
1 October 2009: Mystery Solved
This bird is a Red-Shafted Flicker. I just got back from The Clark Museum in downtown Eureka, CA, where they had several of these birds stuffed on display. It was so satisifying to chance upon the answer. They're quite lovely birds, sadly I have no longer seen them since I moved away from McKinleyville.