Dolphins in New Jersey? How Hundreds of Dolphins Can Be Seen Migrating Through New Jersey Waters
Dolphins, with their intelligence and at times almost human-like behavior, are among the most enigmatic water-based animals. These amazing creatures, however, aren’t just found in remote, far-off places. In fact, they’re a lot closer than you may think. Each year, countless number of dolphins make the waters of New Jersey their home, both close to shore and in the deeper waters. This is why dolphins like the New Jersey waters so much – and how you can see them for yourself.
Where, When, and Why the Dolphins Call NJ Home
The New Jersey oceanfront is the habitat for a few species of bottlenose dolphin, particularly in the spring, where they find the water temperature to be perfect. It’s worth remembering that dolphins are warm-blooded mammals, meaning that they’re affected by the changes in environment, just like we are. While some groups of the dolphins stick around for the winter, many make their way south to the Carolinas, where the water is a bit warmer and friendlier. When migrating, the dolphins tend to travel together in large groups, meaning that if you’re lucky and you happen to be out on the water, you could see hundreds of dolphins travelling together. If you’re on shore, you’re more likely to see only a few who are hunting for dinner.
It’s Not Just Dolphins in the Water
Naturally, dolphins aren’t the only animals to be found close to the shores of New Jersey. In fact, if you see a fin floating around in the water, it could belong to a shark! There are quite a few species of shark that are native to New Jersey, including the brown shark and sand shark, which feed on the dolphins that have made their home offshore. Hey, a shark’s gotta eat, too. Don’t be too worried if you happen to catch sight of one of these predators, however. Unlike Jaws, they’re not known to attack humans. Along with sharks, you could also be fortunate enough to see humpback whales, which grow to be up to 40 tons.
Check Them Out Yourself
If you want to see some dolphins, you could spend some time reading first-hand accounts and watching YouTube videos. But what’s better than seeing them up close and personal yourself? You can easily see the oceanic wildlife of New Jersey with your own eyes, but while you may get a glimpse of them from the shore, you’ll be much better off with a boat. Thankfully, there are a few services that provide tours for dolphin spotting. Atlantic City Cruises, based out of the Atlantic City Aquarium, offers dolphin watching cruises during the spring, summer, and fall. And a bit farther way, groups like Cape May Whale Watcher and Silver Boat Tours offer similar services.
Of course, you don’t need to travel far or pay for a cruise to see some dolphins. If you’d rather see them for yourself, just make your way out to the coast. However, you’ll want to bring some binoculars and a little bit of patience. And if you can’t spot any, hey, you can always try the aquarium!