A Strand Feed, Herding Fish, Dolphin - click to enlarge

A Strand Feed, Herding Fish, Dolphin

This article is actually about 2 strands done at almost the same time, team work.

A Strand Feed, Herding Fish, Dolphin - click to enlarge
A Strand Feed, Herding Fish, Dolphin – click to enlarge

This is large, with many photographs so I will add several galleries for easier reading.

The hunt starts with a Dolphin(s) churning and splashing water off the shore, working their way closer to herd the fish. Some of the splashing can be a Dolphin raising up and throwing large amounts of water with their tail.

A Strand Feed, Herding Fish, Dolphin - click to enlarge
A Strand Feed, Herding Fish, Dolphin – click to enlarge

When the fish are pushed right up to the shore a Dolphin may follow close and catch them, or quickly attack stranding them on the shore.

A Strand Feed, Herding Fish, Dolphin - click to enlarge
A Strand Feed, Herding Fish, Dolphin – click to enlarge

When the fish hit the shoreline, the Dolphin will follow right up on the sand. Any fish are quickly caught and the Dolphin rolls over, back into the shallows, and swims to a deeper location, but not far since fish are still there.

As this stranding ended my luck held out because another was happening right here, probably to the same school of fish.

A Strand Feed, Herding Fish, Dolphin - click to enlarge
A Strand Feed, Herding Fish, Dolphin – click to enlarge

Above you can see a Dolphin looking up (from under the water) as he started to create a huge whirlpool. This completely confused any fish and the swirling water forced them ashore.

In this case a Dolphin again followed them to the sand.

A Strand Feed, Herding Fish, Dolphin - click to enlarge
A Strand Feed, Herding Fish, Dolphin – click to enlarge

Several times this same day a Dolphin repeated the herding but did not come ashore, the fish were caught a few feet out in the water.

Strand feeding is done by only a few Dolphin, in a few locations. The South Carolina and Georgia lowcountry has several Dolphin Pods. It has also been reported in Mexico and Portugal. There may be other areas but I couldn’t find any.

Because strand feeding is taught to juveniles within a pod, who may leave to join another, the number of Dolphins feeding this way looks to be growing…as long as they can find a place without people and cell phones.

 

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