Voices of Glacier Bay: Waiting for the Feast

salmon in stream
Salmon heading up stream to spawn.

At low water, salmon school up at stream mouths, waiting for high tide to make the one-way push into the freshwaters of their birth and death. They leap, splosh, ripple, and swirl in an undulating curtain of wet motion.

Meanwhile, up in the trees and along the river banks, the hungry talk about the coming feast: the eagles with their yodeling cackle, the ravens with their somersaulting kalumps, crows with their insistent barks, gulls with their sharp clucks, bears with their patient pacing.

Last week, I drifted by just such a stream mouth, headphones clamped tight to my ears, joyously stunned by the chaotic parade of sounds.Give it a listen. All the wet-sounding stuff is made by the fish, a pulsing swirl of pink, chum, and sockeye salmon. The big gushing sounds off in the distance are tree-sized breaths of humpbacks lumbering just off shore. The various clamoring birds you'll have to sort through for yourself.

Enjoy (and do yourself a huge favor and beg, steal, or borrow a pair of decent headphones).

Hank Lentfer
August 2013

voices of Glacier Bay
Voices of Glacier Bay

This recording is part of the "Voices of Glacier Bay" Soundscape recording project. Read more about this exciting project and listen to many other incredible sounds recorded in Glacier Bay National Park.

Last updated: April 14, 2015

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