The city health department is advising residents that there have been multiple reported sightings of coyotes in Newburyport. The animal typically weighs between 35 and 50 pounds and has an appearance similar to that of a German sShepherd, and may be seen more frequently at this time of year because it is breeding season. To avoid coyotes, health officials suggest that residents make sure any garbage stored outside is secure, and feed and keep their pets indoors. Coyotes are typically shy and elusive, but are frequently seen in pairs or small groups where food is commonly found. If an immediate threat toward humans exists, contact the city’s animal control officer, the Newburyport Police Department, or Massachusetts environmental police. For more information on coyotes, visit www.mass.gov and search for “coyotes,” or contact Robert F. Bracey, the city’s director of public health, or Matthew J. Lipinski, Newburyport’s animal control officer, at the Health Department, 978-465-4410.