└ Whale Behaviour
2015-02-13 Icelandic whale migrating south towards Bermuda Print E-mail



Tagged Icelandic whale's satellite track as it heads from Iceland towards Bermuda- click here


Click on the above link to see the track of an Icelandic whale migrating south towards Bermuda. What is it doing? In six weeks the whales will be migrating north...


We have identified some fluke IDs here that have also been identified in Iceland but coming down here now?


The more we know, the more we don't know about these animals pelagic behavior.

2012 04 08 Some of the action we saw while following 11 whales for over 4 hours Print E-mail
There were occasional bursts of activiy as we followed 11 whales from Challenger Bank fifteen miles to 60 feet of water off Bermuda. This was one of a double breach
Whale behaviour in Bermuda Print E-mail
Written by Andrew Stevenson   
Thursday, 24 April 2008 08:53

Since starting the Humpback Whale Film and Research Project in the spring of 2007 there are a number of observations I made during the first year, which are being reinforced by observations made this year. Last year I spent most of my time trolling up and down the South Shore with the occasional foray to Sally Tuckers and Challenger Banks. This year I have spent as much time on Sally Tuckers and Challenger as the South Shore. Aspects of humpback whale behaviour I've observed in all three areas put into question some of the basic suppositions I had heard before.

Whale Song & Social Sounds - An Overview Print E-mail

Humpback whales are well known for their songs

Only a few hundred years ago the bays and inlets of the world were alive with the slow, restful breathing of whales and the songs whales make to communicate.

Whale Song and how far it carries Print E-mail

Most marine mammal scientists believe that sound plays a particularly vital role in the development and well-being of cetaceans. Researchers use hydrophones to ascertain the exact location of the origin of whale noises. Their methods allow them also to detect how far through an ocean a sound travels. Research by Dr Christopher Clark of Cornell University conducted using thirty years worth of military data showed that whale noises travel up to 3,000 km. As well as providing information about song production, the data allows researchers to follow the migratory path of whales throughout the "singing" (mating) season.

Whale Song - Audio Tracks E-mail

These 3 audio tracks were recorded by me using a hydrophone dropped overboard in May 2008 at Challenger Banks, some 15 miles to the South west of the Bermuda seamount. This is long after the mating season in the Caribbean, and the singing was 24 hours per day at high intensity and volume. Humpback singing is associated with mating behaviour and I wonder why a whale would be expending so much energy singing if the mating season is over. It is my guess that the singing on Challenger has nothing to do with mating but more to do with aggregating a social unit of humpbacks for their journey further north. Over and over I've seen four, five, two, three whales moving together and separating over a period of some days and then suddenly aggregating into a social unit of seven to ten whales at which point they are no longer milling about but moving steadfastly at about 4-6 knots in a northeasterly direction towards their northern feeding grounds. With a quarter to a third of the humpbacks bearing Orca scars on their flukes, pectoral and dorsal fins, it makes sense for the humpbacks, especially mothers with calves, to continue their migration north within a protective pod. If this is the case, the singing in Bermuda siginifies a strong familial bond that goes beyond just mating behaviour as these males escort the females and calves through the gauntlet of Orcas further to the north.

Frank Watlington and the Whale Song Print E-mail

Frank Watlington and the Whale Song (RG Magazine, May 2008) - Download PDF here


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