Uncommon dark phase coyote spotted in Wynantskill

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WYNANTSKILL, N.Y. (NEWS10)—Kelly Finelli was upstairs on January 4 when she looked out her bedroom window.  She thought she saw a large dog, but she realized that it was no dog.

Finelli grabbed her cell phone and started to record.  She said the animal was prowling her front yard for a good minute even as her husband was loudly working in the garage.

“Our back yard is all woods, and we hear them (coyotes) all the time (in the summer),” Finelli said. “I usually don’t hear them in the winter cause our windows are shut.”

Finelli sent the video to her neighbors to let them know about a large coyote in the neighborhood.  Her friends encouraged her to send the video to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to see what they made of it.

“This is a dark-phase coyote! Coyotes come in a wide range of coat colors, from blonde to red to black,” responded Mandy Bailey Watson, Wildlife Biologist, with the DEC. “The dark ones are certainly not common, though we do get a couple of reports a year. Definitely a neat sighting!”

Watson explained that its no cause for concern seeing a coyote during the day, and it’s not uncommon. The wildlife biologist explained that the breeding season is approaching, and coyotes are more active and visible.

The DEC provides information on avoiding conflicts with coyotes on their website.

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