Our day started EARLY – most of us woke early and watched the sunrise (~5:15 AM). Our first observation session was preceded by space-use data collection. This brings our total number of research projects this week to three: behavior observations with the MVA, collecting creativity data on the female dolphins, and recording how dolphins use their lagoon and the various spaces in this lagoon.
There was a lot of object play during the first AM session and the dolphins actually showed interest in our surface observers (Bill, Ron, Rachel & Heather). The dolphins also were more vocal – with whistles and click trains audible even above the water surface.
Breakfast followed our session – we’d be remiss if we did not have at least one mention of the delicious food we’ve been eating all week!
The DCP webinar went off without any glitches from Bailey’s Key. I (Kathleen) connected with Kel, Nicole, and our audience to share a bit about our research here and to showcase the dolphins. While answering questions from participants, we got to show our viewers Ronnie, Ritchie and Champ, Lenca, Stan and then Bailey and Tank and Sandy and Tilly. There were several programs ongoing so we moved around a bit! It was fun!
Our second MVA session was short – about 17 minutes. But it was with the mom/calf pairs and a few adult females. I was able to watch Maury and Rocky, Bailey and Tank, Tilly and Sandy, and Alita and Buzz (pictured) as they exchanged some pec rubs and other contact behaviors – very cool!
The afternoon brought more opportunity to collect create data for the female dolphins. Bill and Ron did two scuba dives today and saw a toad fish, some rays and lots of small fish. The bear’s den was their afternoon dive and we had to ask if they saw any bears! (nope) Heather, Melissa, and Rachel went snorkeling on the west side of Bailey’s Key where they saw many juvenile fish, a worm (TBD), a barracuda, a trunk fish and many more different fish. It was late in the day and all three were getting tired. Thus, the night snorkel this evening was postponed. Dinner was yummy and we have now wrapped up copying and transferring our video data to back-up drives.
We look forward to more data collection and sunny skies tomorrow.
The SSRB 2021 Ecotour group!