Bush Point hydrophone

Located on the southwest shoreline of Whidbey Island (WA, USA), Bush Point projects into Admiralty Inlet where strong Pacific tides rush to and from Puget Sound. The tidal mixing of sea and river waters attracts marine life, including local sea birds and marine mammals, as well as migrating salmon and killer whales. Many of these species make sounds that can be heard through the Bush Point hydrophone system. The hydrophones also pick up human-made noises, particularly from vessels — both in the nearby shipping lanes and launching from the local boat ramp.

Latest news:

Shared Google photo album

Overview and credits:

Hosted and organized by Howard Garrett and Susan Berta of Orca Network, the Bush Point hydrophone project is a collaboration of many talented team members. The hydrophone is deployed from the Bush Point Wharf B&B thanks to the generosity of owner Stan Yu. The hydrophones are designed and maintained by Lon Brocklehurst and Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research and  Florian Granger of Sealife Productions. Integration with the Orcasound streaming computer system and listening app is provided and maintained by Scott Veirs of Beam Reach. The high-speed Internet connection is supported through a grant from Whidbey Telecom.

23 thoughts on “Bush Point hydrophone

  1. Joe says:

    11/4/18 – Tried to listen to Bush Point following its being featured in a KOMO 4 News segment in the 7 am Sunday news hour. Apparently inactive.

    1. Scott Veirs says:

      Yes, sadly the hydrophone is having trouble as of noon on Saturday. Orca Network is working with the manufacturer to troubleshoot.

      For now, please try listening to the Orcasound Lab sounds via live.orcasound.net/orcasound-lab

    1. Scott Veirs says:

      Orcasound Lab is working, but it currently re-starts on the half hour, so you may need to wait a few minutes around then and try re-loading live.orcasound.net

        1. Scott Veirs says:

          Hmmm. Can you get to orcasound.net ? If so, then go there, clear your browser cache, and then clean select the yellow Listen Live button.

        2. Scott Veirs says:

          Hmmm. Can you get to orcasound.net ? If so, then go there, clear your browser cache, and then clean select the yellow Listen Live button. If not, let us know what device and browser you are using.

          1. Anna Stenmark says:

            Hi, I tried to empty cache and restart my phone but it still wont work. I got on my laptop to try it today but it is not working on there either. When I click “listen live” it takes me to a blank page.

          2. Scott Veirs says:

            Strange. I think this is new behavior that hasn’t been reported. Can you tell me what browser you are using (on phone and laptop)?

          3. Anna Stenmark says:

            On my phone I use Samsung’s browser and on my laptop I use edge but tried it with firefox too. Still no luck.

  2. Greg Chase says:

    Orcas are off of Bush Point right now 11/10/18 3:30 pm.

    I live here at Bush Point

    Greg Chase

  3. Katharine Bender says:

    Amazing! Can’t tell exactly what I’m hearing but I do hear some small tapping noises besides the sound of “water”.
    Thanks for putting this opportunity together. I’ll check in now and then- I live in Langley.

  4. Colleen Ohair says:

    Have tried multiple times to listen but just get a blank white screen when I go to the site. No sound or words. Been trying for a couple months – I live at bush point.

    1. Scott Veirs says:

      Hi Colleen, sorry you’re having trouble. Please follow the link to the user feedback form so we can understand your situation. The good news is that we’ll be making some changes over the winter that should improve player performance (beyond our current ~80% success rate). For now, my best advice is to try the Chrome browser on whatever operating systems and devices you prefer.

    1. Scott Veirs says:

      Hi Linda, yes it is still operational. Though the original hydrophones suffered over the winter, Lon put in a back-up hydrophone that seems to be surviving…

      I think what you experienced is that you tried to listen at ~30 minutes after the hour. Due to software stability issues, we often reboot the streaming computer at 30 minutes after an hour. When that happens, the stream doesn’t work for a minute or two.

      So, try again and let us know if it’s still not working for you!

  5. charles h haas says:

    I’m a retired sonar engineer and I’m considering doing some private studies of ocean sounds. “private” means I don’t have money and I’m doing this to satisfy my own intellectual curiosity. I have many years of experience in sonar engineering and ocean acoustics, subjects that I’ve always found fascinating. I guess that qualifies me as a citizen scientist. I’d like to know if your sound data is available as digital data. If additional data (ships AIS for example) that would be useful in analyzing the recorded data, that would be helpful also. Ocean Netwoks Canada offers his type of data but I’d like to have several sources if possible.

    Thanks for your time and consideration

    1. Scott Veirs says:

      Hi Charles,
      We’d welcome your expertise. You can learn more about the technical aspects of the project, including data access, at the Orcasound support page that describes our technical roadmap. Basically, we are moving towards a system where all acoustic data is streamed to cloud storage. Later in 2019 some environmental and metadata (like AIS information) may be stored in the cloud, too, but right now is only logged locally at select nodes. In the interim, you may browse samples of Orcasound data products.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *