Between 2004 and 2006, large groups of melon-headed whales were recorded off the Big Island of Hawai‘i. No other odontocete species were sighted in these groups. Recordings contained echolocation clicks, burst-pulse sounds, and whistles. Echolocation clicks typically contained energy beginning at 13 kHz and continued strongly to the frequency cutoff of the recording system, suggesting that the frequency content of the clicks continued well beyond 24 kHz. Burst-pulse sounds were typically short, with a mean duration of 586 ms with a mean inter-pulse interval of 2.47 ms. The distribution of numbers of pulses was skewed toward fewer pulses, with a mean of 46.7 pulses. Overall, whistles were relatively simple frequency-modulated downsweeps, upsweeps, and sinusoidal signals. Fundamental frequencies ranged from 890 Hz to 23.5 kHz. Most whistles had smooth contours, although frequency steps were observed. Whistles were generally short, with a mean duration of 586 ms. The acoustic characteristics of these whistles were similar to those in the only previously published descriptions of melon-headed whale vocalizations [
Watkins et al. (1997). Caribbean J. Sci. 33, 34–40
Janik and Curran (2007). 17th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Capetown, South Africa
] and were shown to be distinguishable from whistles of other odontocete species.