Whale sounds in real time-check it out at the Haida Gwaii Museum, Skidegate

  • Dec. 3, 2008 10:00 a.m.

Anything from gurgles, swooshing sounds, bubbles popping, ticking noises and whale whistles can be heard on the new hydrophone at the Haida Gwaii Museum. The underwater microphone and sound system are submerged 60 feet under the ocean about half way between the museum and Jewell Island (visible from the museum’s outdoor decks. Museum-goers can listen to the sounds via headphones or a speaker, says Christine Pansino, who recently took over as executive director of Laskeek Bay Conservation Society. Laskeek Bay recently got the hydrophone up and running so people can start listening in, but they won’t have interpretive sign boards up until mid-January. According to the society’s information, marine mammals use sounds in the same way other animals use vision. Toothed whales and dolphins produce calls and whistles to communicate between group members and they use echo-location to detect prey. Others, like Baleen whales, communicate with one another using low frequency sounds. Some of the popping sounds are made by shrimp and a low hum is made by fish in their breeding season. Ms Pansino says herring produce a burst of pulses called Fast Repetitive Ticks (or FRTs), which makes for a lot of fish flatulent jokes. When the Kwuna passes, people can also hear the loud noise of its engine droning past. Ms Pansino says the display will discuss underwater noise pollution and how loud noises can disrupt the behavior of marine animals. “You really get a sense of how loud that would sound to different marine animals,” she says. Laskeek Bay has also installed nest boxes for pigeon guillemonts on the rocks below the museum’s viewing deck. These diving birds feed around rocky shores and eat sculpins, blennies and other small bottom-diving fish. Pigeon Guillemonts easily adopt man-made structures for nesting and these ones are intended to provide supplementary sites for breeding. Once birds have established nests in the boxes, video monitoring devices will be attached so visitors can watch the birds feeding their young.

Just Posted

Rediscovery co-founder Thom Henley returns to Haida Gwaii with new memoir

Henley to speak in Old Massett Thursday night and in Queen Charlotte on Friday

Overnight fire destroys home in Tlell

Tlell firefighters are having a busy year

Crime Stoppers launches across Haida Gwaii

They aren’t the police, and they don’t want to know who you… Continue reading

Queen Charlotte set for first election contest since 2011

Candidates Alan Moore and Devin Rachar to join a friendly debate Thursday night at Junebug Café

Fentanyl crisis reaches Haida Gwaii

Leaders respond after one person nearly dies from Haida Gwaii’s first suspected fentanyl overdose

100,000 bulbs shine bright for Lights of Hope

St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver launched its annual campaign to raise funds for equipment, research

‘I will now live in consistent fear’: Allan Schoenborn granted escorted leaves

The Merritt man was deemed not criminally responsible in the killing of his three children in 2008

Hammy the deer dodges conservation officers in Prince Rupert

The famous Prince Rupert hammock deer maintains his purple threads

‘No shirt, no service, no Canada’

Shirtless Tacoma man arrested after Canadian border officials say they found meth in rental vehicle

Nasty note on B.C. windshield sparks online outrage

Vernon’s Bailey McDonald is using a painful experience to start conversation about invisible illness

Federal funding to combat guns, gangs and opioid crisis

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said illicit drugs are often main cause of guns, gangs violence

Riverview youth mental health centre proceeds

Replacement for Maples Treatment Centre first announced in March

Dead boy’s father posts Facebook response after Appeal Court upholds conviction

David, Collet Stephan were found guilty in their son Ezekiel’s 2012 death from bacterial meningitis

Trudeau mania, Scheer enthusiasm in B.C. this week

Prime minister, Conservative leader drop in on Surrey, White Rock

Most Read