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Author Topic: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE 2021 to 2024  (Read 68210 times)

Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #180 on: October 20, 2021, 01:17:52 AM »

Swamp Sparrow continued


tatus in Tennessee: This common migrant and statewide winter resident is present in the state from late September to early May.

Map of Swamp Sparrow eBird observations in Tennessee


Fun Facts:

Swamp Sparrows are known to stick their heads completely underwater to catch aquatic insects.
The legs of a Swamp Sparrow are longer than other members of its genus, allowing it to wade in the shallow water of its swampy habitat.
Best places to see in Tennessee: Swamp Sparrows can be found across Tennessee from late September through early May in marshes and low grassy or brushy fields, often near water.
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Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #181 on: October 20, 2021, 01:20:27 AM »

Swamp Sparrow continued









Sources:

Mowbray, T.B. 1997. Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Robinson J. C. 1990. An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
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Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #182 on: October 25, 2021, 02:28:00 AM »

White-throated Sparrow
Zonotrichia albicollis



The most abundant of Tennessee's wintering sparrows, the White-throated Sparrow arrives by early October and departs by mid-May.  It travels in flocks and can often be heard in winter singing its distinctive Oh Sweet Canada Canada Canada song.

Canada is where it breeds, from the Yukon to Newfoundland south to the northeastern United States. In the winter, it is found in the eastern half of the United States south to northern Mexico, with some birds wintering along the Pacific Coast.

Description: Adult White-throated Sparrows are brown above and gray below, with a white throat bordered in black, a black and white striped head and a yellow blotch between the eye and bill. The "tan-striped morph" and first-year birds (August-March) look similar, but with tan and brown striped heads and a duller throat. Males and females are similar in appearance.

Length: 6.75"
Wingspan: 9"
Weight: 0.91 oz

Voice: The song starts with 2 loud, clear, short whistled notes, followed by a series of triplet notes: Oh sweet Canada Canada Canada or Old Sam Peabody Peabody Peabody. The call is a distinctive lispy tseep.

Similar Species:

White-crowned Sparrows lack the distinct white throat and yellow above the eyes, and have an all-pinkish bill.
Habitat: In winter and in migration White-throated Sparrows are found in dense cover, along woodlots, in fencerows, swamps, weedy fields, parks, and in urban areas.

Diet: Seeds, fruits, and insects. White-throated Sparrows frequently visit bird feeders.

Nesting and reproduction: The White-throated Sparrow has never been known to nest in Tennessee.
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Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #183 on: October 25, 2021, 02:30:07 AM »

White-throated Sparrow, continued
Status in Tennessee: This common statewide migrant and winter resident usually arrives by early October and departs by mid-May. While still abundant, White-throated Sparrows are apparently declining over much of the breeding range.

Map of White-throated Sparrow eBird observations in Tennessee


Fun Facts:

White-throated Sparrows come in two color forms: white-striped and tan-striped. White-striped birds almost always mate with tan-striped birds, and visa versa. Interestingly, white-striped males tend to be more aggressive, and tan-striped females provide more parental care to the nestlings.
White-throated Sparrows and the Dark-eyed Juncos look nothing alike but are known to occasionally mate with one another. They produce hybrid offspring that look like grayish, dully marked White-throated Sparrows with white outer tail feathers.
Birds in cold climates have more feathers in the winter than in the summer. One study found that White-throated Sparrows have 40% more contour (body) feathers in winter; in summer, they have about 1,500 contour feathers and 2,500 in winter.
Obsolete English Names: White-throated Finch

Best places to see in Tennessee: White-throated Sparrows are found in Tennessee during the non-breeding season, arriving in early October and departing by mid-May. They can be found in every county of the state in a variety of shrubby habitats including weedy and brushy fields, brushy woodland thickets, along woodland edges, and in suburban areas with sufficient cover.
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Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #184 on: October 25, 2021, 02:33:03 AM »

White-throated Sparrow, continued





Sources:

Falls, J. B. and J. G. Kopachena. 1994. White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis), The Birds of North America, No. 128 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Robinson J. C. 1990. An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
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Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #185 on: November 05, 2021, 01:26:27 AM »

Dark-eyed Junco
Junco hyemalis


The Dark-eyed Junco, formerly known as the Slate-colored Junco and commonly called a snowbird, is found across Tennessee in the winter and breeds in the mountains of East Tennessee.   In fact at higher elevations, it can be the most conspicuous and abundant nesting bird.

Juncos are familiar to most Tennesseans because they are easily identified, relatively tame, forage in flocks on the ground, and visit bird feeders. Their summer range extends across Alaska and Canada, southward to southern California and northern Georgia. The winter range extends from southern Canada across the United States to northern Mexico.

Over most of Tennessee, Dark-eyed Juncos are present only from early October to mid-April.

Description: The Dark-eyed Junco is gray above and white below, with white outer tail-feathers, a dark eye, and a pink bill. Males and females are similar, but females average paler and browner. Juveniles (May-August) are similar to adults, but have fine streaking on the chest, head, and back.

Length: 6.25"
Wingspan: 9.25"
Weight: 0.67 oz

Voice: The song is an even musical trill lasting about 2 seconds. Calls include a short, hard tsip, and excited high-pitched twitters.

Similar Species:

No other sparrow is so plainly marked gray or gray-brown with white outer tail feathers.
Habitat: Dark-eyed Juncos breed in coniferous and mixed forests, and on grassy balds. They winter in fields, suburbs, edges of parks, around farms, and along rural roadsides and stream edges.

Diet: Seeds and insects.

Nesting and reproduction: In Tennessee, males begin returning to breeding territories in late March, and the start of egg laying is influenced by elevation and spring temperatures. Juncos will raise 2 to 3 broods during the breeding season.

Clutch Size: Usually 4 eggs, with a range of 3 to 5 eggs.

Incubation: The female incubates the eggs for 12 to 13 days.

Fledging: Both adults feed the young, which leave the nest between 11 and 14 days after hatching.

Nest: The female usually builds the open cup-nest in a depression on the ground or a sloping bank, well hidden by vegetation. The nest is constructed of grasses, moss, and rootlets, and lined with finer material.
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Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #186 on: November 05, 2021, 01:28:42 AM »

Dark-eyed Junco, continued


Status in Tennessee: The Dark-eyed Junco is a common migrant and winter resident across the state arriving by early October and departing by mid-April. It is a common breeder and year round resident in the mountains of East Tennessee, especially above 4,000 feet.

Map of Dark-eyed Junco eBird observations in Tennessee


Fun Facts:

Dark-eyed Juncos breed across virtually all of North America, and junco populations differ in plumage and bill color, migratory behavior, and body size across that range. Until the 1970s, these different looking populations were split into 5 distinct species: the Slate-colored, White-winged, Oregon, Gray-headed, and Guadalupe Junco. Not all taxonomists agree with the American Ornithologists' Union's new classification.
Dark-eyed Juncos breeding in the Appalachian Mountains have shorter wings than the migrants that join them each winter. Longer wings help the migrants fly long distances.
The oldest known Dark-eyed Junco in the wild was 11 years 4 months old.
Obsolete English Names: slate-colored junco, gray-headed junco, snowbird

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Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #187 on: November 05, 2021, 01:31:31 AM »

Dark-eyed Junco, continued

Best places to see in Tennessee: Dark-eyed Juncos can be found statewide during the winter. In East Tennessee, year round residents can be found in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Carver's Gap on Roan Mountain, Cherokee National Forest, and other mountains, especially above 4,000 feet.







Sources:

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

Nolan, Jr., V., E. D. Ketterson, D. A. Cristol, C. M. Rogers, E. D. Clotfelter, R. C. Titus, S. J. Schoech and E. Snajdr. 2002. Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis), The Birds of North America, No. 716 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York
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Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #188 on: November 10, 2021, 11:06:06 PM »

Northern Cardinal
Cardinalis cardinalis





"Redbird" is a popular common name for the Northern Cardinal. This non-migratory bird is abundant in Tennessee and can be found in a variety of habitats from suburban neighborhoods and rural areas, to bottomland forests and mountainsides.   A cardinal will often spend its entire life within a mile of where it hatched.

The range of the Northern Cardinal extends throughout eastern and central North America from southern Canada into parts of Mexico and Central America. That range has expanded northward since the early 1800s, likely because of milder winter temperatures, increased nesting habitat, and the presence of bird feeders.

Description: The male and female look very different, but both have a prominent crest and a red cone-shaped bill.

The male is a brilliant crimson red with a black facemask; the female is mostly grayish-brown with reddish wings, crest, and tail. Her facemask is gray to black and is less defined than that of the male.

Juvenile birds (April-September) look like the adult female but are duller and have a black bill that gets more orange through the fall.

Length: 8.75"
Wingspan: 12"
Weight: 1.6 oz

Voice: The song is a series of clear repeated, usually 2-note phrases, purdy purdy purdy or whoit cheer whoit cheer. The call is similar to two coins hitting each other.

Similar Species:

This species cannot be easily confused with any other species found in Tennessee, although the only other all red songbird in the state is the Summer Tanager.
Habitat: Northern Cardinals can be found in a variety of habitats but require open patches of ground for feeding, trees for singing perches, and dense, low growth for nesting. Habitats include woodland with thick understory, forest edges, swamps, streamside thickets, hedgerows, and shrubbery around homes and parks.

Diet: Seeds, fruits, buds, and insects. Frequently visits bird feeders.

Nesting and reproduction: In late February and March, males and females start defending their territory with song, displays, and mild combat. Male cardinals can be so aggressive that they may defend their territory from their own reflection in a window or a mirror! Nest building usually begins in April and cardinals usually raise at least two broods in a year.

Clutch Size: Usually 3 eggs, with a range of 1 to 5 eggs.

Incubation: The female incubates the eggs for 12 to 13 days.

Fledging: Both the male and female care for the nestlings, which leave the nest in 9 to 11 days.

Nest: The female chooses the nest site and builds the nest with occasional help from the male. The nest is an open bowl of weed stems and twigs, and lined with grass. It often contains paper or plastic in the outer layer. The nest is placed in a thick tangle of vines or twigs in a shrub or small tree, and the average nest height in Tennessee is 5 feet, with a range from 1 foot to 12 feet.
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Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #189 on: November 10, 2021, 11:08:29 PM »

Northern Cardinal. continued

Status in Tennessee: The Northern Cardinal is an abundant permanent statewide resident. The population is currently stable or slightly declining.

Map of Northern Cardinal eBird observations in Tennessee


Fun Facts:

Unlike most northern songbirds, both males and females sing. When the female sings from the nest it appears that she is providing the male with information about whether to bring food to the nest. A mated pair shares song phrases, but the female may sing a longer and slightly more complex song than the male.
The population density and range of the Northern Cardinal has increased over the last 200 years, largely in response to habitat changes made by people.
The male cardinal fiercely defends its breeding territory from other male cardinals. When a male sees its reflection in glass surfaces (i.e. windows and mirrors), it frequently will spend many hours daily trying to fight the imaginary intruder. This may go on for the entire breeding season. One remedy is to tape paper on the outside of the offending window until he looses interest.
Not all male cardinals look the same. Brighter red males hold territories that have denser vegetation, feed young at higher rates, and have greater reproductive success than duller males.
The oldest known wild Northern Cardinal was 15 years 9 months old.
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Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #190 on: November 10, 2021, 11:10:43 PM »

Northern Cardinal. continued

Obsolete English Names: redbird, common cardinal, eastern cardinal, cardinal grosbeak, cardinal redbird

Best places to see in Tennessee: The Northern Cardinal is an abundant year round resident across the state.





Sources:

Halkin, S.L. and S.U. Linville. 1999. Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), The Birds of North America, No. 440 (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 Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
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Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #191 on: November 15, 2021, 08:28:11 AM »

Rose-breasted Grosbeak,
Pheucticus ludovicianus



The male Rose-breasted Grosbeak is a striking bird with a bold black and white plumage, punctuated by a deep rose triangle in the middle of the white breast.  The female's plumage is completely different and resembles a large brown streaky sparrow.

The Rose-breasted Grosbeak spends much of its time in the treetops and its song and distinctive metallic, chink, call-note, makes it easier to find. Unlike many songbirds, both the male and female Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are known to sing.

This species is completely migratory traveling between the breeding range over most of Canada and the eastern United States, to its wintering grounds stretching from southern Mexico to northern South America.

In Tennessee, the Rose-breasted Grosbeak nests only at higher elevations in the mountains in East Tennessee, but is a common spring and fall migrants statewide.

Description: The breeding male has a bright rosy red triangle in the middle of a white breast. The head and back are black, the rump is white, and the wings and tail are black with white patches that are especially obvious in flight.

The female resembles a large sparrow. She has a brown streaked back, a streaked white breast, two white wing-bars, and a boldly patterned face with a white stripe over the eye.

The under-wing is rose-colored in the male and yellow in the female, and both have a heavy pinkish-white to slate gray conical bill. First-year birds (August-March) resemble the female.

Length: 8"
Wingspan: 12.5"
Weight: 1.6 oz

Voice: The song is a melodious series, of robin-like phrases, sometimes described as sounding like an American Robin with singing lessons. The call-note is a sharp, metallic chink, similar to a sneaker squeaking on a basketball court.

Similar Species:

The female Purple Finch resembles the female Rose-breasted Grosbeak, but is smaller with a relatively smaller head, a distinct moustache-stripe, a dark bill, and no white in the wings.
Habitat: Breeds in deciduous and mixed woodlands, especially at the edges, second-growth woodlands, orchards, suburban parks and gardens. Winters in a variety of open tropical forests.

Diet: Insects, seeds, fruits, and buds.

Nesting and reproduction: Rose-breasted Grosbeaks start nesting soon after they arrive in spring. Unlike most songbirds, both the male and female sing, including while they are incubating on the nest.

Clutch Size: Usually 4 eggs, with a range of 1 to 5 eggs.

Incubation: The male and female incubate the eggs for 13 to 14 days.

Fledging: Both adults feed the young, which fledge in 9 to 12 days after hatching. They remain dependent on the adults for another 3 weeks.

Nest: The female, and sometimes the male, builds the cup-shaped nest using twigs, rootlets and weed stems, and lines it with finer materials. It is usually placed in a variety of shrubs and small trees, but occasionally high on the branch of a deciduous tree. Nest heights range from 4 feet to 40 feet, with an average 13 feet above the ground.
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Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #192 on: November 15, 2021, 08:32:14 AM »

Rose-breasted Grosbeak,, continued

Status in Tennessee: The Rose-breasted Grosbeak is an uncommon to fairly common summer resident of the East Tennessee mountains. In the rest of the state, it is a fairly common migrant found from mid-April through mid-May, and again from mid-September through mid-October.

Fun Facts:

Rose-breasted Grosbeak nests are so thinly constructed that it is often possible to see the eggs through the nest from below.
The male Rose-breasted Grosbeak incubates the eggs during the day, accounting for about 1/3 of the time, while the female incubates over night. Both sexes sing quietly to each other when they change places. The male will sometimes sing his normal song when incubating on the nest.
Obsolete English Names: purple-headed grosbeak

Best places to see in Tennessee: Frozen Head State Natural Area above 3,000 feet, Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Unaka and Roan Mountain.









Sources:

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

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.

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Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #193 on: December 05, 2021, 02:18:23 AM »

Blue Grosbeak,
 Passerina caerulea



Blue Grosbeaks are somewhat secretive but can be found across Tennessee during the summer months. They arrive by the end of April and depart by the end of September, and occur in brushy fields, and hedgerows adjoining grasslands and croplands.

Interestingly, they only started nesting in Tennessee in 1945, and had spread across the state by the mid-1960s. The reasons for this dramatic range expansion are unknown.

Blue Grosbeaks are migratory birds and range across most of the southern half of the United States into Mexico and Central America. The winter range includes southern Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Description: The male and female are very different in appearance, but share the large cone-shaped bill. The male is deep blue with two large rusty-brown wing-bars; the female is mostly brown with two buffy-brown wing-bars.

Juveniles (August-March) resemble the female; males in their first summer (March-September) have a plumage that is intermediate between that of the adult female and adult male, with variable amounts of blue mixed with brown.

Length: 6.75"
Wingspan: 11"
Weight: 0.98 oz

Voice: The song is a series of variable rich warbled notes and phrases, typically quiet in tone. The call is a soft metallic chink.

Similar Species:

The Indigo Bunting male and female are similar to the male and female Blue Grosbeak, but are much smaller, have smaller bills, and no wing-bars.
Eastern Bluebirds have a reddish chest, a white belly, and a thin bill.
Female and juvenile Brown-headed Cowbirds lack wing-bars and may be streaked on the breast.
Habitat: Blue Grosbeaks can be found in early successional habitats such as brushy pastures and abandoned fields with numerous shrubs and saplings, also hedgerows adjoining hayfields and fields of small grains, and recent clearcuts.

Diet: Insects, other invertebrates, and seeds.

Nesting and reproduction: Nest building begins in late May. Blue Grosbeaks commonly produce two broods per year.

Clutch Size: Usually 3 or 4 eggs, with a range of 2 to 5 eggs.

Incubation: Incubation is done only by the female, and lasts for 11 to 12 days.

Fledging: Both parents feed the young, which leave the nest in 9 to 13 days.

Nest: The nest is a compact cup made of twigs, bark, rootlets, and lined with finer material. The outer shell usually contains pieces of snake skin, paper or plastic. It is usually well concealed in shrubs or vine tangles along forest edge or roadsides. Tennessee nest heights range from just over one foot to 9 feet, with an average of about 3 feet above the ground.
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Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #194 on: December 05, 2021, 02:18:35 AM »

Blue Grosbeak,, continued

Status in Tennessee: The Blue Grosbeak is a fairly common summer resident across Tennessee, arriving by the end of April and departing by late September. The population in Tennessee is still increasing at a significant rate.

Map of Blue Grosbeak eBird observations in Tennessee



Fun Facts:

The first record of a Blue Grosbeak in Tennessee was in Memphis in 1929. Few observations followed until a small breeding population was discovered in 1945 in McNairy County. The first Blue Grosbeak in Knox County was found in 1948, in the Nashville area in 1950, and near Chattanooga in 1953. By the mid-1960s Blue Grosbeaks were established throughout the state. The reason for this sudden increase is unknown as apparently suitable habitat had long been available.
Most Blue Grosbeaks nesting in the eastern United States probably migrate across the Caribbean, as individuals are regularly sighted on Caribbean islands during spring and fall migration.

Best places to see in Tennessee: Blue Grosbeaks can be found across the state except at the highest elevations, from the end of April to late September. They occupy early successional habitats such as brushy pastures, abandoned fields with numerous shrubs and saplings, hedgerows adjoining hayfields and fields of small grains, and recent clearcuts.











Sources:
Ingold, J. L. 1993. Blue Grosbeak (Passerina caerulea), The Birds of North America, No. 79 (A. Poole and F. Gill, Eds.). Philadelphia: The Academy of Natural Sciences; Washington, D.C.: The American Ornithologists' Union.

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

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
"Every new day begins with possibilities."
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