Bottlenose Dolphins

Resident Wild Dolphins

The shallow, warm waters surrounding the lower Florida Keys provide an excellent year round habitat for around 200 Dolphins.

Our Coastal Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins have never been fed or trained, which allows us to observe the natural behaviors of wild dolphins.


    Dolphins are amazing at catching fish and it is joy to have the privilege of watching their strength, speed, and agility in action. When dolphins are feeding we always watch from a distance. This is a great time for topside observation and zoom lens photography. You often see the dolphins chasing and herding fish both cooperatively and individually.

    Dolphins are opportunistic when it comes to fishing, and do not have a set schedule for hunting. We estimate that they dedicate about 8 hours a day to fishing.

    • • Adult dolphins eat about 20 pounds of fish a day
    • • About 8 hours a day dedicated to fishing.
    • • Sonar is main tool used for tracking fish
    Socializing, Playing & Mating Behavior

    When dolphins are in a playful, social mood they are full of energy

    and exuberance. Social time usually starts off with several dolphins
    swimming together, rubbing pectoral fins, and being extremely tactile
    with one another. Sometimes the younger dolphins and babies will play
    games with one another, tossing a sand dollar, playing tag with a piece
    of seaweed, and even wrestling each other. Some of these behaviors even
    mimic adult dolphin mating behavior.

    • The “catch-all” behavior

    • Dolphins might be seen racing around, jumping, or lounging

    •Often playful dolphins are when we get the closest views, as they’ll often come over to check out the boat.

    Rest & Sleep

    Dolphins sleep with only half of their brain at a time. They close

    one eye, which allows the opposite side of the brain to go into sleep
    mode. It is more like we would think of as a deep meditation. They don’t
    have a specific time to rest or sleep like humans do. They decide to
    sleep as a group and most of the pod will go into this half sleep at the

    • Sleep about 8 hours per day

    • Famously sleep with one eye open.

    • Often in groups of about 4, but can vary widely.