Since we’re not going to go to Hawaii this year, it is with mixed feelings that we perform the annual ritual of tuning in to the Jupiter Foundation’s live whale song audio stream from Puako, on the kona coast of Hawaii Island. It’s not that we don’t WANT to hear it. The cacophony of groans, moans, tremolos, shrieks, and grumbles—the layered voices of up to six or more humpbacks—is haunting and hilarious, puzzling and bizarre, and always a thrill to hear. It’s just that after being in those warm waters, hovering above the reef, breath held and ear pressure equalized, and listening to a truly live stream of whale sound (the kind that shakes the bones), listening to the web stream is a weak substitute.
Anyway, check it out yourself (click on “live whale audio” at the top of the page), and while you’re at it, explore the Jupiter Research Foundation’s site. They’ve got some innovative technology for listening in on the natural world, and fascinating stories about what they’ve encountered. There’s even a webcam trained out on that magnificent view from Puako. It’s not the same as being there, but it helps a little during what can be a damp and gloomy Alaskan winter.