Ground bird--was sititng on a rock in our back yard, then ran off rather than fly off. Fairly large-robin or bluejay size, can't tell exactly. Mottled/spotted breast of dark spots on white, with the white picking up a reddish tinge as it goes down the abdomen. Beak like a jay, so it's an insect eater rather than a seed eater. Head smooth, no crest that I could see. Back and wings (when closed) dark brown. Tail points down like a jay, rather than up like a roadrunner.
Now off to look for the bird online and in my dad's old field guide.
ETA: No hard ID, but I'm inclined to a thrasher or a thrush.
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