Watch a Dolphin and Bird Execute the Perfect Alley-Oop When They Toss a Fish in the Air

Written by Katie Melynn Wood
Updated: October 19, 2023
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It’s not often that you see two animals of different species in the wild working together to get a tasty meal. And even though this quick video may look like that, it’s more likely that it was just the right place and the right time for the lucky seabird that got a tasty fish dinner to go.

Check Out The Video

The clip is only a few seconds long but it is enough time for the people recording to witness an amazing coincidence. A dolphin just under the surface of the water “tosses” a fish up into the air with its tail. You can hear the smack as its tail hits the water.

A seabird happens to be flying overhead just as the fish flies up into the air. Many seabirds dive down onto the surface or into the water to get fish. We can only imagine how surprised the bird must have been when the fish came into the air instead. The person with the camera lets out an audible gasp as they watch all of this unfold.

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Even though it is only a few seconds long, this video shows just how amazing nature can be. Fortunately, the person taking the video and the person driving their boat kept a safe distance from the dolphin. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recommends that people always keep a safe distance from dolphins and any other wildlife that they encounter in the ocean.

While dolphins are not known for being dangerous or aggressive, it is best to let wild animals remain wild. This protects them and preserves their natural behavior without the interference of people.

Pan tropical spotted dolphin, dolphin jumping in blue sea

Dolphins like to leap out of the water.

©Pascale Gueret/

Where Do Dolphins Live?

Dolphins are one of the most recognizable and fascinating animals in the ocean. They are actually mammals. This means that they are warm-blooded and breathe air. They have to go to the surface to get air. They also like to play in the waves, often jumping in and out of the water in the wake of boats. Dolphins also give birth to their young, who drink milk.

These amazing animals are one of the few mammal species to live exclusively in the water (whales, porpoises, and manatees are the others). Dolphins live in all of the oceans in the world. They are common in warmer waters but can still thrive even in colder climates as well. There are 40 species of dolphins. The bottlenose dolphin is easily the most recognizable and lives in many parts of the world. The common dolphin is the most common species in all the world’s oceans.

What Do Seabirds Eat?

The clip is too short to really see what kind of bird is getting the tasty morsel. But based on the location, it’s almost certainly some species of seabird. Depending on the location, seabirds include albatross, penguins, petrels, and gulls. It’s likely that this bird is a type of gull. Gulls eat fish, mollusks, crustaceans, and even other smaller birds. This particular bird was the lucky recipient of a fish platter delivery.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Lefteris Papaulakis/

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About the Author

Katie is a freelance writer and teaching artist specializing in home, lifestyle, and family topics. Her work has appeared in At Ease Magazine, PEOPLE, and The Spruce, among others. When she is not writing, Katie teaches creative writing with the Apex Arts Magnet Program in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. You can follow Katie @katiemelynnwriter.

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