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Author Topic: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE  (Read 9319 times)

Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #120 on: September 10, 2021, 02:59:53 AM »

Barn Swallow, continued
Status in Tennessee: The Barn Swallow was originally rare in the state, but became a common breeder by the mid-1900s because of its attraction to human-made structures for nest sites.

While still a common nesting species in Tennessee numbers are declining likely to due to the decrease in farmland and loss of barn nesting habitat.



Fun Facts:

The Barn Swallow, not the more famous egret, indirectly led to the founding of the conservation movement in the United States! It was the killing of Barn Swallows for the millinery trade (decorations for lady's hats) that apparently prompted George Grinnell's 1886 editorial in Forest and Stream, which ultimately led to the founding of the first Audubon Society.
Recent research has shown that tail length and degree of asymmetry in the outer tail-streamers appears to be a reliable predictor of an individual's quality. Tail length, in both males and females, tends to correlate with reproductive success, and annual survival. Females prefer to mate with males that have the longest and most symmetrical tails.
The average lifespan of barn swallows is 4 years. Barn swallows of 8 years of age have been documented, but these are considered the exception.
Best places to see in Tennessee: Virtually anywhere in Tennessee with barns between April and September.

« Last Edit: September 30, 2021, 12:38:08 AM by Phyl »
'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

'A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.'
Edwin Way Teale

Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #121 on: September 10, 2021, 03:02:09 AM »

Barn Swallow, continued








Sources:

Brown, C. R. and M. B. Brown. 1999. Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica), The Birds of North America (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2021, 12:38:24 AM by Phyl »
'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

'A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.'
Edwin Way Teale

Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #122 on: September 10, 2021, 07:09:19 PM »

Carolina Chickadee
, Poecile carolinensis



The Carolina Chickadee is a energetic little black, white, and gray bird is familiar to most Tennesseans because it readily visits bird feeders and it frequently calls its name while foraging, chick-a-dee-dee.

Carolina Chickadees are found year round throughout the state anywhere there is forest and are absent only from the high elevations in the Appalachian Mountains where Black-capped Chickadees are often present.  The breeding range extends from New Jersey westward to southeastern Kansas and central Texas, southward to the Gulf Coast and northern Florida.

Description: This small, short-billed bird has a black cap, black bib, and white cheeks.  The back is an unstreaked gray, the underparts are whitish with gray or brownish flanks.

Tail and wings are gray, upper wing feathers with no or only a little white edging.  Males, females and immature birds are similar in appearance.

Length: 4.75"
Wingspan: 7.5"
Weight: 0.37 oz

Voice: The song is a four-part clear whistle fee-bee fee-bay or car o line a, and a high pitched, rapid chicka dee dee dee. Winter call notes are high and thin.

Similar Species:

The Black-capped Chickadee looks very similar, but is slightly larger, has more extensive gray edging in its wings, and a black bib that generally less defined and appears uneven. The easiest way to distinguish the two species is by song. The Black-capped sings a two or three-note song, and Carolina sings a four-note song. See link below for additional information on distinguishing Carolina and Black-capped Chickadees.
**Black-capped Chickadee's occur almost exclusively at the highest elevations in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and are unlikely to occur at lower elevations, in towns, or at feeders due to their preference of high elevations in Tennessee.
Habitat: Deciduous and mixed deciduous/coniferous woodlands, swamps, riparian areas, open woods, parks, suburban and urban areas.

Diet: Insects, spiders, seeds, and fruits.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2021, 12:38:39 AM by Phyl »
'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

'A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.'
Edwin Way Teale

Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #123 on: September 10, 2021, 07:12:06 PM »

Carolina Chickadee, continued

Nesting and reproduction: Carolina Chickadees are monogamous and mates may remain together for more than one nesting season. In Tennessee, egg laying begins in mid-March and peaks in early April.

Clutch Size: 3 to 10 eggs, usually 5 or 6.

Incubation: Only the female incubates with the male delivering food to her. Eggs hatch in 14 to 15 days.

Fledging: Both adults feed the young, which fledge in 17 to 18 days. The young remain with the parents for another 2 weeks.

Nest: Carolina Chickadees nest in cavities that they either excavate or find.  Nests are typically in dead trees or rotten branches.

Within the cavity the nest is constructed of green moss and lined with either mammal hair or thin strips of plant fibers. Average nest height in Tennessee is 5 feet.  They will use nest boxes. Nest Box Instructions here.

Status in Tennessee: This year round resident is common throughout the state with the exception of the highest elevations (generally above 4,000 feet) in the Appalachian Mountains. Their numbers appear to be stable or slightly increasing.

Map of Carolina Chickadee eBird observations in Tennessee


Fun Facts:

John James Audubon "discovered" this species while in coastal South Carolina. He wrote "My drawing of the Carolina Titmouse was made not far from New Orleans late in 1820. I have named it so, partly because it occurs in Carolina, and partly because I was desirous of manifesting my gratitude towards the citizens of that State, who by their hospitality and polite attention have so much contributed to my comfort and happiness, whenever it has been my good fortune to be among them."
In winter, Carolina Chickadees live in flocks with 2 to 8 chickadees and several other species. Chickadees defend areas against other flocks. Dominant birds in these flocks establish breeding territories that were part of the flock's winter range.
Chickadees have a fabulous memory. They hide thousands of food items in different locations and are able to return later and remember where nearly all of them are.
Male and female Carolina Chickadees can remain paired for several years. Probability of pair bond maintenance appears to depend on population, with nearly all pairs remaining together in subsequent years in Texas, but only half staying together in Tennessee. In attempts to obtain the best male, a female may seek out a new male on a different territory if a nesting attempt fails.
The oldest known Carolina Chickadee in the wild was 10 years 8 months old, but the life span is usually closer to 4 to 5 years.
'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

'A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.'
Edwin Way Teale

Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #124 on: September 10, 2021, 07:14:38 PM »

Carolina Chickadee, continued


Obsolete English Names: chickadee, tit

Best places to see in Tennessee: Common (or present) in most wooded to open shrubby habitats in every county of the state.

For more information:

Tennessee's Woodworking for Wildlife page with nest box instructions





Sources:

Mostrom, A.M., R.L. Curry and B. Lohr. 2002. Carolina Chickadee (Poecile carolinensis), The Birds of North America (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of TN Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2021, 12:38:54 AM by Phyl »
'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

'A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.'
Edwin Way Teale

Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #125 on: September 12, 2021, 01:43:54 PM »

Tufted Titmouse,
Baeolophus bicolor

The ringing peter-peter-petersong of the Tufted Titmouse is a familiar sound in the forests across Tennessee.  While it readily visits bird feeders in winter, the Tufted Titmouse is often found foraging in flocks with Carolina Chickadees and Downy Woodpeckers.  It is a year round resident across the Eastern United States from southern Minnesota to southern Vermont and southward to northeastern Mexico and the Gulf Coast.

Description: This small gray songbird has a short crest on its head, a prominent black eye on a pale gray face, a black patch on its forehead, and a whitish belly with rusty flanks. Adult males and females are similar; juvenile birds have a shorter crest and lack the black on the forehead.

Length: 6.5"
Wingspan: 9.75"
Weight: 0.75 oz

Voice: The song is a high-pitched phrase, peter-peter-peter, repeated up to 11 times in succession. They also give a variety of nasal, mechanical or very high pitched call notes.

Similar Species:

No other bird species in Tennessee has the combination of a gray back and a crest on the head.
Habitat: Deciduous forest, swamps, orchards, parks, and suburban areas.

Diet: Insects and seeds.

Nesting and reproduction: Territorial singing begins as early as mid-January. The Tufted Titmouse is monogamous, and a pair may use the same nest cavity for more than one year. On rare occasion yearling titmice stay on their natal territory and help their parents raise younger siblings.

Clutch Size: 3 to 8 eggs with clutches of 5 to 7 most common in Tennessee.

Incubation: Only the female incubates the eggs and the male delivers food to her. Eggs hatch in 13 to 14 days.

Fledging: Both adults feed the young, which fledge in 17 to 18 days. The young remain with the parents for several weeks after fledging and sometimes through the winter.

Nest: Tufted Titmice nest in cavities that they find or in nest boxes (see link below for nest box plans). Within the cavity the nest is constructed of dry leaves, moss, or fragments of snakeskin, and lined with mammal hair. Average nest height in Tennessee is 12 feet.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2021, 12:39:08 AM by Phyl »
'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

'A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.'
Edwin Way Teale

Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #126 on: September 12, 2021, 01:46:09 PM »

Tufted Titmouse, continued

Status in Tennessee: Common permanent resident in every county of the state. Numbers appear to be stable.

Map of Tufted Titmouse eBird observations in Tennessee


Fun Facts:

During the past 50 years the range of the Tufted Titmouse has expanded northward, probably because of climatic warming and increased bird feeding.
During the non-breeding season groups of 2 to 4 titmice commonly move about with flocks of Carolina Chickadees and Downy Woodpeckers.
In late summer multiple family groups of titmice may gather into flocks of over 20 individuals.
The oldest Tufted Titmouse recorded in the wild was 13 years 3 months old.
Best places to see in Tennessee: This year round resident is common in woodlands throughout the state.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2021, 12:39:22 AM by Phyl »
'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

'A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.'
Edwin Way Teale

Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #127 on: September 12, 2021, 01:48:36 PM »

Tufted Titmouse, continued







Sources:

Grubb, Jr., T. C. and V. V. Pravasudov. 1994. Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor), The Birds of North America (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2021, 12:39:35 AM by Phyl »
'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

'A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.'
Edwin Way Teale

Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #128 on: September 15, 2021, 04:27:14 PM »

White-breasted Nuthatch,
Sitta carolinensis



The foraging behavior and call of the White-breasted Nuthatch makes this a rather easy bird to identify.   Nuthatches creep up and headfirst down tree trunks looking for insects tucked into bark crevasses, and their nasal wha-wha-wha is quite distinctive.

The White-breasted Nuthatch is a year round resident throughout its range and often visits bird feeders or joins mixed foraging flocks with Carolina Chickadees and Tufted Titmice in winter.  It inhabits deciduous forests from southern Canada to northern Florida and southern Mexico, and only the northern-most individuals migrate south during severe winters.

Description: The White-breasted Nuthatch has a blue-gray back with a black cap that tops an all-white face and breast. The flanks and undertail coverts are rusty, the tail is square, and the flight is undulating. The bill is long and slightly upturned. It creeps both up and headfirst down tree trunks while foraging. Sexes appear similar but the female cap is grayer.

Length: 5.75"
Wingspan: 11"
Weight: 0.74 oz

Voice: The song is a rapid series of nasal wha-wha-wha notes lasting 2 to 3 seconds.

Similar Species:

Red-breasted Nuthatches are smaller, have a white stripe above the eye and a black stripe through the eye, and are reddish underneath. In Tennessee they breed only in high elevation spruce-fir forests in East Tennessee. During some winters, however, moderate numbers can be found across the state.
Habitat: Open woodlands with mature, primarily deciduous, trees, especially near openings and edges. Also, found in parks and suburbs with large trees.

Diet: Insects, nuts, and seeds.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2021, 12:39:54 AM by Phyl »
'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

'A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.'
Edwin Way Teale

Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #129 on: September 15, 2021, 04:32:20 PM »

White-breasted Nuthatch,continued
Nesting and reproduction: White-breasted Nuthatches are cavity nesters and pairs maintain permanent territories throughout the year. Breeding activity in Tennessee begins in late winter when the males start singing more often and display to their mates.

Clutch Size: From 5 to 10 eggs with 8 most common.

Incubation: The female incubates the eggs for 12 to 14 days and is often fed by her mate.

Fledging: Both parents feed the young for a couple of weeks after fledging. Families often remain together into the fall.

Nest: The female selects a natural cavity or old woodpecker hole and packs it with twigs, fur, feathers, and bark shreds. White-breasted Nuthatches will occasionally nest in nest boxes. Nest Box Instructions here.

Status in Tennessee: Fairly common permanent resident across Tennessee. Numbers have been increasing in recent years probably because both forested area and the maturity of forests has increased in the state.

Map of White-breasted Nuthatch eBird observations in Tennessee

Fun Facts:

Nuthatches gather and store nuts and seeds, jamming them into tree bark and hammer or "hatch" the food open with their bills at a later time.
The reasons nuthatches forage by climbing down trees are not fully known, but it may be that they can spot prey hidden from creepers, woodpeckers, and other upward-facing feeders.
The oldest White-breasted Nuthatch in the wild was 9 years 10 months old.
Obsolete English Names: slender-billed nuthatch

Best places to see in Tennessee: Found across the state but is more likely to occur in larger woodlands.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2021, 12:40:07 AM by Phyl »
'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

'A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.'
Edwin Way Teale

Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #130 on: September 15, 2021, 04:34:15 PM »

White-breasted Nuthatch,continued







Sources:
Grubb, Jr., T. C. and V. V. Pravosudov. 2008. White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis), The Birds of North America (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2021, 12:40:20 AM by Phyl »
'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

'A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.'
Edwin Way Teale

Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #131 on: September 15, 2021, 04:37:36 PM »

Carolina Wren
Thryothorus ludovicianus



The loud tea-kettle, tea-kettle, tea-kettle song of the Carolina Wren is familiar across the southeast, but people are usually surprised when they learn that this voice belongs to such a small bird.  The Carolina Wren is a rather shy permanent resident that frequents homes and gardens as well as wilder swamps and woodlands that have a moderately dense brushy cover.

While it will build its nests in natural cavities, it is more likely to nest in a hanging plant than in a birdhouse. Carolina Wrens are found in the Eastern United States southward into northeastern Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula but are most common in the Southeastern states.

Description: A small bird with rusty upperparts, cinnamon underparts, and a distinct white eye-stripe. The tail is moderately long, rusty brown with darker barring, and is often held upward. The male and female are identical in plumage, but males are often slightly larger. It has a loud and varied song repertoire and is more likely to be heard than seen.

Length: 5.5"
Wingspan: 7.5"
Weight: 0.74 oz

Voice: The song is a loud ringing, repeated series of notes: tea-kettle, tea-kettle, tea-kettle. Calls include a chatter likened to teeth rubbing on a metal comb, staccato notes, and scolding churrs. The male and female often duet with the female giving a raspy churr in response to the male tea-kettle song.

Similar Species:

Bewick's Wren has become exceedingly rare in Tennessee. It is overall grayer, without cinnamon underparts, and has a longer tail with black outer-tail feathers tipped in white.
The House Wren is smaller, duller in color, and lacks the white eye-stripe.
Habitat: Found in a wide range of habitats from swamps to forests and residential areas. Requires moderately dense shrub or brushy cover.

Diet: Insects and spiders.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2021, 12:40:34 AM by Phyl »
'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

'A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.'
Edwin Way Teale

Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #132 on: September 15, 2021, 04:39:10 PM »

Carolina Wren, continued
Nesting and reproduction: Carolina Wrens maintain territories and pair bonds year-round. They have a long nesting season in Tennessee lasting from late March into August. Second broods are common and occasionally they will raise a third brood.

Clutch Size: 3 to 7 eggs with 5 eggs most frequent.

Incubation: The female incubates the eggs for 14 days.

Fledging: Both adults feed nestlings. The young fledge when 12 to 15 days old and stay with the parents for another couple of weeks.

Nest: Both sexes build the nest, which is usually domed and within 3 to 10 feet of the ground.  In natural settings, individuals prefer to nest in open cavities, thick shrubs, vine tangles.

Around homes and gardens, they often build nests in nooks and crannies, unused receptacles, hanging plants, open mailboxes, nest boxes, carports, and garages when the door is left open for extended periods of time.

Status in Tennessee: Common to abundant, permanent residents of low-elevation woodlands and wooded suburban areas across the state. Numbers appear to be stable, but will temporarily drop following severe winters.

« Last Edit: September 30, 2021, 12:40:50 AM by Phyl »
'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

'A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.'
Edwin Way Teale

Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #133 on: September 15, 2021, 04:40:57 PM »

Carolina Wren, continued

Fun Facts:

In the early 1800s, when John James Audubon first described this species, they ranged no further north than Philadelphia. Carolina Wrens now range from the Great Lakes to southern New England. This expansion is likely the result of warmer winters in recent years. However, cold winters with ice and snow can have devastating effects on local populations, but they recover within a few years.
A pair bond may form between a male and a female any time of the year, and they may stay together for life. Members of a pair are resident on their territory year round, and forage and move around the territory together.
Females help the males with territorial defense by singing with their mates. When the male gives an aggressive territorial song in response to a neighboring male, his mate will approach and give a chattering call that overlaps the male's song.
The oldest known Carolina Wren in the wild was 7 years 8 months old.
Best places to see in Tennessee: Found in suburban areas across the state but more easily heard than seen.





Sources:

Haggerty, T. M. and E. S. Morton. 1995. Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus), The Birds of North America (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2021, 12:41:03 AM by Phyl »
'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

'A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.'
Edwin Way Teale

Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #134 on: September 15, 2021, 04:43:12 PM »

Golden-crowned Kinglet


The Golden-crowned Kinglet is the second smallest nesting bird in Tennessee; only the Ruby-throated Hummingbird is smaller.  It is restricted to the mountains of East Tennessee during the breeding season, but is a common winter resident across the state.

The breeding range of this tiny songbird extends across the boreal forest of Alaska and Canada, into the western United States, and Tennessee represents the southern limit of the range in the eastern states.  During the winter most northern breeders migrate to the lower 48 states, but despite its small size the Golden-crowned Kinglet can withstand winter temperatures of -30° F.

Description: The Golden-crowned Kinglet has grayish-olive upperparts, whitish underparts, two white wing-bars, a broad white eyebrow stripe, and a yellow crown patch bordered by black.

The male and female look the same except the male has an additional erectile patch of orange feathers within the yellow crown. He raises this patch in confrontations with other males. Kinglets are very active foragers, often hanging upside down, and they frequently flick their wings while foraging making kinglets easier to identify.

Length: 4"
Wingspan: 7"
Weight: 0.21 oz

Voice: The song is a series of rising high-pitched notes, followed by a musical chatter. The call notes are a series of usually 3 very high-pitched notes, tsee-tsee-tsee. The call, and occasionally the song, is given on the wintering grounds in Tennessee.

Similar Species:

Ruby-crowned Kinglets have an eye-ring, no eyebrow stripe.
Habitat: Breeds in spruce and fir forests, as well as some mixed coniferous-deciduous forests. During migration and in winter it can be found in a wide variety of habitats, including lowland deciduous woodlands.

Diet: Small insects and insect eggs.


« Last Edit: September 30, 2021, 12:41:20 AM by Phyl »
'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

'A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.'
Edwin Way Teale
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