Second Beaked Whale Found Beached in Eastern Long Island

Jan 7, 2014

True's beaked whales are found in deep offshore waters, but little is known about their migration patterns.
Credit Rob DiGiovanni / NEFSC
Beaked whales have been sighted along the U.S. east coast. The whales are deep divers that spend little time at the surface.
Credit NOAA

Biologists are investigating the death of a second True's beaked whale that washed ashore on Monday in eastern Long Island, found on a beach in the Hamptons.

Marine researchers at the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Wildlife said a beached whale was found on Sunday morning as well, identified as a rare True's beaked whale. The first whale, a female over 15 feet long and weighing a ton, was found in Southampton. The second, a male about nine feet long and weighing about 400 pounds, was found on a beach in Bridgehampton about four miles away.

True's beaked whales are divers in deep waters in the North Atlantic Ocean, among other places, and spend little time at the surface. Sightings are relatively rare. Little is known about their migration patterns.

Beaked whales use echolocation to forage for small fish and squid in deep banks, canyons, and continental slopes. According to the NOAA Fisheries Service, some recent beaked whale strandings may have been caused by acoustic trauma associated with naval active sonar.

It's been years since a beaked whale washed ashore on Long Island. Necropsies are being conducted on both whales.

The Riverhead Foundation has a 24-hour rescue hotline as part of its New York State Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding Program: (631) 369-9829.

This report contains information from The Associated Press.