I had the opportunity to see a large number of dolphins while on a pontoon boat in Estero Bay. Our group was actually on a boat excursion for Birders that were attending a seminar at FGCU. We did see a lot of birds including an American Bald eagle but the most memorable sights I had on that trip was seeing all of the lively and friendly dolphins that swam near and around our boat. We motored out of the Fish Tale Marina on Ft. Myers Beach which has nature boat excursions which I would recommend to anyone wanting to see wildlife and the beautiful Estero Bay.
After about an hour on the water we started to see a group of dolphins surfacing and then diving under the water, There were a few groups of the dolphins swimming together and I rushed to get my camera before I lost sight of them. Luckily they reappeared right next to our boat and seemed to like the attention they were getting from us.
The Defenders of Wildlife website gives some interesting and extensive information about the lifestyle and habits of dolphins. Dolphins are mammals and are part of the toothed whale family that includes Orca’s and Pilot Whales. Dolphins are mostly gray with a few dark spots and they are carnivores and eat fish, squid and crustacean’s. They hunt and navigate through the waters by using Echolocation which is a method of sending out sound waves through the water and waiting for them to bounce off objects and coming back to them.
Dolphins are found mostly in tropical and temperate waters throughout the world. Their mating season is year round and females give birth to calves after a gestation period of 9-17 months. The young are fed by their mothers for up to 2 years and then accompany their mothers for another 3 to 8 years before they head off on their own.