Maryland Natural Resources Police Sgt. John Buchanan was flying biologists over Tangier Sound this spring to survey ducks when he glimpsed gray bodies arcing in the waters below.
The veteran pilot lowered the helicopter for a closer look.
Two, three, four pods of dolphins. He counted almost 50 in the lower Chesapeake Bay.
"One of the largest groups that I've seen," Buchanan said. "Over the last few years it's not uncommon to see them."
Now researchers in Maryland and Virginia are undertaking the first comprehensive studies of bottlenose dolphins in the Chesapeake Bay. Their early findings suggest more dolphins are swimming up into the bay — they...