2012/02/17 in Acoustic analysis, Network news, Orcasound lab, southern resident
Below are a bunch of southern resident killer whale calls that were just auto-detected at the Orcasound hydrophones (~5km north of Lime Kiln). They include S1, S2, and S10 calls. No calls have been detected yesterday or earlier today at any of the 5 locations in the Salish Sea Hydrophone Network, so these calls are most likely from J pod whales heading south in Haro Strait.
J pod calls were also detected recently on the NEPTUNE Canada hydrophone located on the upper slope of Barkley Canyon (just outside the Strait of Juan de Fuca). You can listen live for them there or play this recording of what they sounded like on 2/6/12 at 00:23 (about 5 hours before the Canadian sonar pings were heard around the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca).
2012/02/08 in Acoustic analysis, Lime Kiln State Park, Network news, Orcasound lab, southern resident
Sounds of southern resident killer whales were detected late in the night on Monday (2/6/12), the same day that the Canadian frigate Ottawa used sonar in their U.S. critical habitat. The calls most often used by K and L pods were automatically detected first at the Orcasound hydrophone array (around 22:45) and then on the hydrophones at Lime Kiln State Park (23:04-23:14), suggesting that the pods were heading south during that period.
The calls recorded at Orcasound are interesting in part because they are audible over a continuously squeaking ship that has peak power in the frequency range of the calls. The most recognizable call in this set of detections is the S16 call which often indicates the presence of K pod.
The Lime Kiln recordings have much less ship noise. Many S19 calls are audible (indicating L pod may have been present), along with whistles, buzz trains, and some S10 calls. Around 23:11 the signal to noise ration is very good during a series of excited variable and S19 calls that are interspersed with echolocation clicks.
2011/10/11 in Acoustic analysis, Lime Kiln State Park, Network news, Orcasound lab, southern resident
Meg McDonald was first this morning (at 5:02 PST) to detect faint calls of southern resident killer whales at Lime Kiln. Val’s WhoListener program confirmed her report with detections from 504-555. There were plenty of clicks mixed in with the S2/3/16+ calls, so one might infer there was some fishing going on under the setting full moon. (Anyone have an underwater photograph of that?!)
Calls and more clicks were detected by WhoListener 46 minutes later at Orcasound (641-759). So I infer that the southern residents were traveling slowly north in Haro Strait without being spread out over more than a couple kilometers. (Orcasound is 5km north of Lime Kiln.)
The automated detections are tabulated below as spectrogram clips and short mp3 recordings. Let us know what calls you hear in the comments. My quick sampling suggested there were some variable calls that I don’t hear very often and am unsure about categorizing…
2011/10/05 in Acoustic analysis, Lime Kiln State Park, Network news, Orcasound lab, southern resident
Yesterday (10/4/11) there were many southern resident killer whale calls automatically and manually detected and recorded on first the Orcasound hydrophones (82 detections from 14:34-16:08 PST) and then the Lime Kiln hydrophones (30 detections from 15:36-16:33). The spectograms and recordings are tabulated below. I heard a lot of S2, S16, and S19 calls along with many clicks. This is consistent with the reports of all three pods by John Boyd on Facebook.
The Beam Reach students observed the orcas at Turn Point at 12:45 (Latitude: 48.69506 Longitude: -123.23662) during a CTD cast. The whales traveled south and southeast, pretty spread out. Meg McDonald heard them first at Orcasound at 14:34 and Lon Brockelhurst reported calls at Lime Kiln at 15:09, and at both Orcasound and Lime Kiln at 16:10.
A continuous recording of the Orcasound hydrophone stream was made by Scott Veirs. A continuous recording of the Lime Kiln north array (4 channels for localization, including one hydrophone with high-frequency response) was made remotely by Jason Wood.
2011/09/29 in Acoustic analysis, Lime Kiln State Park, Network news, southern resident
Einar and salmon (from the ENBB Classic Facebook page)
Meg McDonald was the first to hear echolocation clicks and calls of southern resident killer whales this morning at 6:37. The automated detectors at Lime Kiln also recorded calls or clicks from 6:38 through 9:23. See below for a catalog of the automated spectrograms and recordings, which include many S2 calls and some S4s suggesting the J and L pods may be present. Faint calls are still being heard on occasion as this post is typed (~9:45).
This evidence of foraging is interesting in part because it suggests the orcas may have been some of the first fishers to catch some Fraser kings in the Einar Nielsen Becky Barr Fishing Classic which began today at dawn and is based out of Roche Harbor on San Juan Island. The Classic is named in part for San Juan Islander Einar who died of a heart attack while hauling in a hawg near Kellett Bluff. Follow what salmon get caught over the weekend at http://www.enbbfishingclassic.com/ and their Facebook page.
If you’re out there fishing in the derby or boating near whales this busy weekend, be sure to read and abide by the new Federal rules governing vessel interactions with the endangered orcas that are icons of the Northwest along with the salmon being hunted today. Further details about the rules and estimated penalties for violating them can be found in the Beam Reach wiki.
2011/09/26 in Acoustic analysis, Lime Kiln State Park, Network news, Orcasound lab, southern resident
It’s really piping today in Haro Strait. The plot (above) from the NOAA buoy at Hein Bank (south Haro Strait) suggests the killer whales have been traveling this morning through a sea swept by winds that are steady at 25-30 knots (nautical miles per hour) and gusting to 41! I’d surmised that it wasn’t worth listening to the nearby hydrophones for killer whale calls and clicks, but my gut was telling me otherwise. Besides, the Beam Reach students weren’t going to be able to bring their boat out in such wind for research anyway…
5-day weather in Haro Strait (Hein Bank)
Sure enough, when I checked email at 14:30 there were many notifications from Val’s automatic detection software — both at Lime Kiln and then at Orcasound. The spectrograms and links to the recordings are appended. Does anyone recognize any of the calls?
The SRKW calls (including S2/3/4/19/42) were auto-detected at Lime Kiln from 1255-1313 and then at Orcasound (5 km to the north) from 1319-1345. During that period the tidal currents (predicted at Kellett Bluff, about 2 km north of Orcasound) went from starting to flood to near max flood (peak was at 1430).
Kellett bluff currents (from Jeff Dairiki)
2011/07/03 in Acoustic analysis, Lime Kiln State Park, Network news, Orcasound lab, southern resident
Lots of great SRKW calls (S3s, S4s) and clicks were automatically detected and recorded this morning, primarily on the Lime Kiln hydrophones. A few very loud calls are hard for me to categorize, but sound like variations on S42. Any other interpretations? An example:
The only auto-detection at Orcasound (5km north of Lime Kiln) was a series of echolocation clicks 6:52, so it’s not clear what direction they were headed. However, John Boyd just noted on Facebook that there were whales at Open Bay (south end of Henry Island) at 11:00.
2011/06/22 in Acoustic analysis, Lime Kiln State Park, Network news, Orcasound lab, southern resident
Lots of whistles and calls (S1, S16) were detected by the WhoListener program this morning, first at Lime Kiln from 6:08-6:19, then at Orcasound (5 km north) from 7:47-7:52. Seems like some of the southern residents (J and K pod) are working the west side of San Juan Island, as members of both pods were observed and/or heard heading north towards and/or up through Haro Strait last night.
Did they double back and then go north again this morning or were they really (~9 hours?) spread out?
Here are all the auto-detections:
2011/06/10 in Acoustic analysis, Lime Kiln State Park, Orcasound lab, southern resident
The most common call used by L pod was automatically detected and heard by humans today on the Orcasound and Lime Kiln hydrophones. An S4 and some S7 calls were first detected at Lime Kiln around 11:20. (Could there be some J pod members in the neighborhood?) Then many S19 calls were recorded first at Orcasound and later at Lime Kiln. Perhaps L pod is traveling south along the west side of San Juan Island, after a long absence (last sighted in the Salish Sea on May 30)?
Detections as of 13:30 on 6/10/11 —
2011/05/13 in Acoustic analysis, Network news, Port Townsend Marine Science Center, southern resident
J pod calls and whistles were heard by listening humans and computers tonight on the hydrophones at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center. Jeanne Hyde first reported them at 19:37, beating the automated detector by a full 20 minutes. Meg McDonald reported them at 20:39 and the final automated detections were at 20:58. Jeanne said the last faint calls she heard were at 20:59. So the vocal session lasted about 1 hour 22 minutes.
The automated recordings (below) contained predominantly S2 calls, some great whistles, and some high frequency buzzes. It was also noteworthy that calls were heard over clattering ship noise at 20:11, possibly the 20:00 departure of the Chetzemoka ferry from Port Townsend.