A pair of dolphins put on a show along the Pea Island shoreline, splashing and jumping out of the ocean waters, and the ensuing action was captured by photographer Beverly Meekins, and shared by the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge.
Dolphins and porpoises are spotted all along the Outer Banks beaches throughout the year, although sightings are most common in the winter months. Though typically seen in pods of two or more, it’s unusual to spot these local residents fully jumping out of the ocean waves.
Dolphins can jump out of the water for several reasons. Often, they use this maneuver to examine the shape of the coastline for navigational purposes, or to look for nearby feeding birds in order to determine where to find fish. Dolphins can also jump out of the water to identify the location of the other members of the pod, or other critters sharing the local shoreline.
With winter in full swing, there have been numerous dolphin sightings reported all along the southern Outer Banks beaches, from Pea Island to Ocracoke. For more information on the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, including refuge highlights and recent bird and other wild resident sightings, visit https://www.fws.gov/refuge/pea_island/.