• Winter light on the Fairweather Range

    Glacier Bay

    National Park & Preserve Alaska

Recent Sights and Sounds




humpback 1652

Listen to Humpback #1652 as he sings in Glacier Bay National Park waters.

Singing Humpback Whale Recorded and Identified by Glacier Bay National Park Whale Biologists

October 3, 2011
Park biologists heard and recorded a singing male humpback whale on the Bartlett Cove hydrophone for almost two hours. The Park's whale research vessel happened to be out on the water for a weekly whale survey and was able to carefully approach and photograph this whale. Whale flukes are individually identifiable for the whale's lifetime, like a human fingerprint. The photographs revealed that it was #1652, a well known male humpback from the collaborative Southeastern Alaska Whale Catalog http://www.alaskahumpbacks.org/Catalog/0%20wide/00050%20wide.html.

This whale has never been observed as a singer, but has been sighted in the Glacier Bay area every year since 2000. The whale was at least four miles from the underwater hydrophone when the attached recordings were made, which gives you a good idea how loudly whales sing!

Humpback whale song is a mating related display that is primarily heard in the whales' tropical breeding grounds in the winter, but underwater sound monitoring that began in Glacier Bay in 2000 revealed that males begin to sing in late fall http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2003/nsf03021/.

For more information about humpback whale song visit http://www.hmmc.org/page9/page9.html)




News Bytes:

PETERSBURG-AK (2009-12-30) On their late-fall research trip to study humpback whale and krill interactions in Seymour Canal, researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration made some exceptionally clear recordings of individual whale songs. KFSK Public Radio played some of these recordings for park wildlife biologist Chris Gabriele. She leads an underwater acoustic monitoring program at Glacier Bay National Park and she studies whale vocalizations. LISTEN

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