Some dolphins migrate seasonally to warmer water, but other dolphin pods will remain within a home base without migrating. Scientists differentiate between coastal dolphins and off-shore dolphins. Coastal dolphins are more likely to migrate than off-shore dolphins, which scientists attribute to the coastal dolphin's smaller body needing warmer waters.
Dolphins will migrate for warmer waters and to follow food sources. The migration patterns are seasonal, with coastal dolphins migrating from the Northern Atlantic coast to the Southern Atlantic coast in the winter.
In warmer coastal regions along Florida, Georgia, Texas and California, most dolphins create home bases and do not leave or stray from these areas. These dolphin communities may stretch over many miles, but the dolphins sense where the home base begins and ends.