Kiawah Beach Dolphins...(scroll down for the video)
One of July's outings was a walk along the beach to watch the dolphins strand feeding along the Kiawah River at Captain Sam's Spit.
Due to the impending bad weather there were a few that decided not to make the mile walk along the beach, but Lauren Rust of the Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network was happy to brave the weather with those of us that made the trek. And it did pour!
Once we were at the river, Lauren set up a hydrophone, and it wasn't long before we got our first sightings and sounds of the dolphins swimming up and down the channel!
It was exciting to hear the 'clicks' the dolphins make to echo locate their their favorite meal: mullett!
Lauren shared with us that the strand feeding behavior we were there to observe is a behavior that is taught to young dolphins only by the females! Since this is a learned behavior, there are very few instances of this type of feeding worldwide, so we're very fortunate to be able to watch this spectacle at a local beach.
As they drive the fish ashore in a group, the dolphins hit the beach only on their right side, borne out by the wear and tear on their bodies and teeth! During our visit we saw several instances of them doing this...they eat 25lbs of fish a day, one fish at a time!
If you'd like to watch this for yourself, head to Beachwalker Park on Kiawah Island at low tide and heed the advice of the LMMN volunteers to keep your distance so as not to disturb the dolphins as they feed.
If you'd like to volunteer for the LMMN, please contact Lauren : email@example.com
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