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.

Track 1 - Duration: 13 minutes 39 seconds

Track 2 - Duration: 20 minutes 19 seconds

Track 3 - Duration: 27 minutes 55 seconds

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