Local Photographer Cathy Miller Captures Photos of Dolphin Strand Feeding

Strand feeding, a process by which Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins run their prey up on the beach and eat it while being virtually out of the water, is a relatively local phenomenon.  It has been observed in the marshes and beaches of South Carolina and Georgia.  There are several mentions of people watching this behavior in the Dewees Island critter log on the ferry.  Cathy Miller (who was our first photographer to capture a Dewees fox on film during the Christmas Bird Count) was birding on Folly this weekend and got to see this dolphin behavior firsthand.  She had a great zoom lens, so she was able to take these pictures looking toward Morris Island, where the dolphins were. Click the photos to enlarge. Cathy and her husband Carl are regular environmental stewards on Dewees Island, managing our two annual Audubon bird counts and helping us with our wildlife camera.  When Cathy sent the photos, she also sent a link to this National Geographic video which discusses the behavior of the dolphins. It shows the dolphins behaving exactly the same way Cathy observed with her camera.  One interesting fact they describe is that the dolphins always come out of the water on their right side– and the teeth on that side eventually get worn down because of the amount of mud the dolphin consumes along with the fish.   For another interesting video on dolphin adaptive feeding in Florida, click here.

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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Reggie Fairchild

    The photos by Cathy Miller are amazing. I encourage everyone to click on them to see them full size. The dolphin behavior is much clearer and dramatic that way.

  2. judydrewfairchild

    Okay, I put the photos in a large slideshow, and now each one is smaller on the bottom so that you can click a specific one to enlarge.

  3. dershie mcdevitt

    I particularly like the one second from bottom on right holding a fish in his mouth. Also, look at the notch in flipper in right dolphin, bottom right picture. What do you suppose that is, a shark bite? dershie

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