Listen for dolphins!

The movements reflected in this spectrogram are a visual representation of dolphin clicks and whistles.

Dr. Bailey and her team deploy underwater microphones, called hydrophones, that listen for and record dolphin clicks. These devices allow us to collect data in any sea state or time of day.

Listen to dolphin clicks and whistles off Maryland!

Our science in action

Deploying our hydrophones in the Patuxent and Potomac Rivers.
Thank you to Fred Jett for helping us deploy the hydrophone on his pound net in the Potomac River!
A CPOD is an underwater microphone key to dolphin research.

Dolphins were more frequently detected in the Potomac River than in the Patuxent River.

In the Potomac River, dolphins were detected nearly everyday during June 2016 and 2017, with generally more detections in 2017. In 2017, dolphins were detected throughout the study period from late May to early November. Dolphins were detected for shorter periods from our pier in Solomons at the mouth of the Patuxent River, indicating they may be moving up the river to other places.

Interestingly, the dolphins were more frequently detected during the night than during the day, which may be related to their feeding behavior. We will look into this next!

Aerial Surveys

This map shows the path of the DolphinWatch team's aerial surveys.

We have also been looking for dolphins from the air during aerial surveys of Chesapeake Bay.

Volunteer pilots took us up and SouthWings, one of our partners on the project, organized the flights. Thank you very much to Ron Baker, Larry Petro, and Shannon Lyons!

We had beautiful views of the Bay over five flights; unfortunately we didn’t see any dolphins. Fingers crossed for 2018.

Research assistants Amber Fandel and Leila Fouda ready for their flight.
Helen Bailey joins an aerial survey for dolphins in Cheaspeake Bay.
Jessica Wingfield and Leila Fouda surveyed the Chesapeake Bay for bottlenose dolphins from the air on April 27 with help from SouthWings pilot Ron Baker.