Dolphins Smiling in the Sound
The species are identified as coastal bottlenose dolphins and the composition of the group is classified as a mixture of adults, juveniles, and calves. The dolphins are observed exhibiting a mixture of behaviors including lunge feeding, porpoising (leaping), breaching, and tail slapping.
(Editor's question: if when a dolphin leaps it is called "porpoising," is it called "dolphining" when a porpoise leaps?)
Documentation of calves approximately one month in age excites the biologists as they listen to the dolphins vocalize in association with breaching, tail slapping and spy hopping (rises and holds position partially out of the water) behaviors....
Scattered sightings of isolated groupings of the dolphins continue throughout the weekend followed by the report of a large group of animals heading in a westerly direction along the south shore of Long Island. Although sightings of dolphins within Long Island Sound have decreased over the course of the summer, dolphins have continued to be reported along the south shore of Long Island in large pods.
The reason people were so excited about the dolphins is simple: it's very rare to see them in the Sound and a pod of 200 is almost unheard of:
Historic sightings of dolphins and porpoises within the Long Island Sound can be dated back to pre-World War II times when pods of dolphins were a familiar sight to mariners and residents along the north shore of Long Island. Over the last few decades these sightings have become less frequent. Reports of cetaceans have been reduced to isolated individuals often compromised or stranded along the shoreline.
The whole newsletter issue is good. You can find it here.
Listen to the Byrds' "Dolphin's Smile" from a terrific album called The Notorious Byrd Brothers