General information

Iñupiaq Name: Aġviq
Scientific Name: Balaena mysticetus

Bowhead Sounds

These sounds were recorded with hydrophones placed in the open lead on the sea ice near Barrow by NSB-DWM biologists. The recordings were analyzed and clips were produced under the direction of Christopher W. Clark at the Bioacoustics Research Program, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. Find more sounds at our Passive Acoustic Monitoring Study.

For more bowhead sounds go to Sounds of the Arctic. This poster with sound files was put together by Catherine Berchok (National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA) and Kate Stafford (University of Washington, Applied Physics Lab) with support from BOEMRE (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement) and the NSB.

More on Bowhead Whales

Whaling Season: A year in the life of an Arctic whale scientist – Read Peter Lourie’s book about Craig George and his work on bowhead whales in Barrow, Alaska. This book is written for upper elementary grades but works through junior high and older as well.

Learning from whales and whalers on top of the world – An article by Ned Rozell on Craig George and bowhead research.

This blog documents the process of creating a 25-minute animated film at the University of Alaska Museum of the North that tells the story of bowhead whale annual migration in the Bering, Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The film takes its basic narrative and title from the 2013 calendar edited by Steve Okkonen, A Year in the Life of Bowhead Whales.

They are not filming actual whales. Rather this will be an animated, but realistic, cartoon film. This film will tell the story of how bowhead whales migrate through the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas. The purposes of the film are to improve public understanding of the marine ecosystem, with emphasis on whales and zooplankton. Specific topics covered include whale taxonomy, physiology, diet, behaviors, and overall movement through subarctic and arctic waters, as well as the current tagging and aerial observation programs and work with Inupiat whalers. The folks making the film are Roger Topp and Steve Okkonen, who are affiliated with the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Banner photo credit: Kate Stafford. Bowhead whale swimming through the lead in the ice near Barrow in 2010.


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