NATURE NICHE: Birds need water; dolphins give fish

Nature Niche pic1-4-25-13

Special to the Parade

Nature Niche pic2-4-25-13Putting water out for the birds that are migrating north right now is critical to their survival with the drought that we are having.

Please help the birds along their arduous journey. Water is the most important thing that they need.

Also be sure to visit

In other sealife news, the dolphins gave us another fish last week! Don’t feed the dolphins. A fed bear is a dead bear. Laws to protect our dolphins, unlike other places in the world that kill them for food, are there just for that reason. But I guess our local dolphin tribe feels that once in a while giving us a fish is a gift. In the past 18 years that we have been with this tribe they have given us two redfish, a speckled trout, a black drum, a lady fish, and just last week, they gave us a tripletail – a huge tripletail.

I know that six fish in 18 years does not seem like a lot, but we feel it is very special. Each time they have given us a fish, the head is gone, the insides are gone and one was even scaled. Fish are hard to catch so most often they don’t have enough to share, but when they do, and we are there, we have been given these gifts. The latest was most amazing.

We watched during two tours on the bay, different dolphins in the group feeding by the swing bridge, playing with a triple tail. They played with it for hours, mouthing it and throwing it, never tearing it apart or tempting to eat it. Then they would leave it floating around our boats. We did not take it for two trips for it was alive and triple tails usually float at the surface anyway. But try to pick one up and forget it. They are gone like a bullet. Finally we realized, as the dolphin came around us, this was a gift. We just scooped him up in the net, and then we could see how the dolphins affect him. They had all but immobilized him for us. He was a beauty. I felt sorry for this magnificent fish, but thanked our dolphin tribe for this awesome gift.

We shared him with friends and had a good meal of him. Thank you, most incredible dolphins of the Laguna Madre Bay.

What a nature niche.

Editor’s Note: Scarlet Colley is the director of the Sea Life and Nature Center located on 110 N. Garcia St. in Port Isabel. Call (956) 299-1957 or visit Scarlet on Facebook at Dolphinwhisper.

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