Could Sludgie the Whale, who briefly graced the Gowanus last year, have been an urban pioneer? Bioacoustical researchers from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation say that, for the first time ever, their recording devices in New York Harbor and off the shores of Fire Island are picking up the songs of whales.
The goal of the sessions is to monitor the whales’ migratory patterns in New York waters and keep boats from crashing into them — a rare but not unknown occurrence. The researchers seem excited that the whales even showed up. “Just think,” rhapsodizes Cornell’s Christopher W. Clark, “just miles from the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Carnegie Hall and Times Square, the great whales are singing.” Better still: if we make them feel at home by not ramming boats into them, maybe they’ll romp and play where we can see them and redirect some of those big whale-watching bucks from Montauk to the city.
Image via Tina Keller (cc)