I tried with both my DSLR and my iPhone to get a good picture, but we live at the top of a very high hill with very few street lights. Here's the best I could do:
My best guess is that he is a barn owl. Those bad boys are pretty big, native to the area, and tend to look like this:
Photo by: Luke Seitz, Flickr
According to my neighbors, the same owl came to visit this time last year, but further down the street. As soon as more of the neighborhood showed up to gawk, the big guy took off. It's too bad, too. I had spent half the time trying to get my toddler to come out to see him. Of course, as soon as the owl takes off, he comes running asking to see it. Kids... **smh**
The word is that a coyote was in another neighbor's front yard the other day. Maybe I can try to get him on film too. Just, you know, from afar. I'm glad my cat stays indoors...