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Birds

Posted by Pallida Zone 7b (My Page) on
Mon, May 16, 11 at 19:30

I know I am a City Slicker, but since I have moved to the country, I have seen birds that I have NEVER seen before in my life. Just recently discovered the White Crowned Sparrow, a Sparrow with black and white stripes on his head. Today, glanced out my window and saw a bird that just took my breath away. Grabbed my "Birds of the World" book and looked him up. It was a male North American Painted Bunting. He had a blue head, shimmering lime green body and an orange stomach. He flew away almost immediately. Wish I knew how to attract a flock of these birds, but I think they are "loners". Wow! What a beautiful bird!

Jeanie


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Birds

We had another thread on this bird recently. When I lived in southern Oklahoma I had one that visited my feeder everyday. My husband had a chair where he could see both the TV and the bird feeder and he watched the feeder everyday until he got there, then we just stood and admired him. This was around 1991 or 92, and was the first one I had ever seen. They seem to be drifting a litlle more north each year.


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RE: Painted Bunting

He is certainly worthy of admiration. Sure hope he comes back. Will definitely be watching!


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RE: Birds

I am watching many birds in the backyard, I listen to birds songs in thew morning... I took some pics of birds from my bedroom windows... they are awesome. I just wonder being in the city I watch so many birds, think about you folks living in country side (Dawn, Paula,...)!

Here I am sharing my photos of backyard birds taken in the last 30days... look at the last few pics of hummers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chandra's Backyard Birds


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RE: Birds

What great bird pix! Thanks, Chandra, for sharing. You have out more feeders than I do and are attracting more Finches than I am, as I don't put out thistle seed. Love the Hummers. They are so greedy and comical, fighting over the feeders, when there is plenty of sugar water for all of them. I have to bring my feeders in at night because of the racoons who will eat all the seed and drink every drop of necter in the wee hours. They truly are masked bandits!

Jeanie


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RE: Birds

Jeanie,

I feel like all I did the first 3 or 4 years we lived here was to walk around with books in my hands (birds, native grasses, native plants, wildflowers, reptiles, amphibians, etc.) identifying everything we have here. I have seen birds and animals I never, ever, ever expected to see.

The painted buntings are one of my favorites but there are so many different birds here and I enjoy them all. I especially enjoy seeing the roadrunners running up and down the roadway and I love hearing the song/call of the Whippoorwill and the Chuckwalla's Widow. Before moving here, I only heard them when we took our son's Cub Scout Pack or Boy Scout troop camping in very remote areas, so having them here near us is pretty cool.

I knew we'd see skunks, possums, deer, raccoons, armadilloes, bobcats and coyotes when we moved here and we do, but found other surprises....ferrets, beavers, ring-tailed cats, bats, eagles (both golden and bald), coyote-dog hybrids, lots more foxes than I expected to see, feral pigs (the first time I saw a huge one out in the road at night, I thought I was seeing a baby hippo!) and the oh-so-scary cougars.

Until I started seeing feral pigs and cougars, I couldn't understand why some of my "old farmer" neighbors worried about me so much and kept telling me to "be careful" (literally on a daily basis) when I was working back in our backwoods clearing out undergrowth and brush. I thought they were, um, being overprotective of this city slicker. After I started running into the larger wildlife, I understood their concern and asked why they hadn't warned me I'd see those animals here. They told me that I wouldn't have believed them until I saw those animals myself, which probably is true. I no longer work in the backwoods (which extend about 1,000' behind the house) alone and we always take a gun back there with us when we go back there any time of the year.

When we moved here, I thought that venomous snakes would be the worst thing I'd see here, and I was very wrong about that, but we also see many kinds of wildlife that we can enjoy being around. Our first year here, we saw horned toads and I can't even remember the last time I had seen them in the wild prior to that.

We enjoy 98% of the wildlife and birds, and just try to avoid the 2% that are potentially dangerous.

I also never thought when we moved here that we'd have to learn herding skills, but I have to say that Tim is especially good at herding goats and cows back up the road to wherever they belong. When you're driving up the road and goats are running down the road towards you, you have to do the neighborly thing and stop and put them up, especially if you can't get hold of their owner by phone. One of the scariest things ever for me was to look up and see a herd of 30 or so cows running straight at me while I was in the garden. I was sure they were going to knock down the fence, which was only 4' tall back then, and destroy the garden, but they turned and ran when I yelled at them. Cows don't exactly qualify as wildlife, but if they get out of their pasture and are in your yard, they can do a whole lot more damage than the wildlife does.

Chandra, We have so much wildlife here that it is mind-boggling. One of our neighbors who grew up here and is now in his 70s told me last year that he is seeing more "rare" birds here in recent years that he hasn't seen here before. I think it is cool to know that the bird population here is increasing instead of decreasing.

I love your photos. I think you are seeing a lot of birds for someone who lives in the city.

Dawn


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RE: Rural Wildlife

Dawn,
I don't have (to the best of my knowledge) all the wildlife you have, although I have seen some if it. I live about a half mile East of I-35 and a half mile West of the Washita river near the GW Exotic Animal Park in Garvin County. It sounds as though you live in a more rural situation than I do, so have more "critters". Even though some of them are scary, I get an adrenalin rush every time I spot something beautiful and wild wandering or flying across my property. The only cat I have actually seen was a Bobcat, but have found impressive paw prints in the mud of my flower beds. I have been warned of the wild hogs, but, so far, have not seen any. My favorites are the deer, turkeys, many birds and, yes, the roadrunners. I can hear the coyotes howling at night, and (scarier noise) the big cats at the Animal Park early in the AM and late in the PM roaring, letting their keepers know that it is mealtime. Certainly hope none of them ever escape their confines. Some of my neighbor's cattle got out, but he managed to herd them off my property before they did any damage. Yep. Life in the city doesn't prepare you for country living, but I love it!

Jeanie


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RE: Birds

I read an article the other day about armadillos transmitting leprosy to humans, so I think I'd be just as afraid of them as the cougars. And if I ran from them, they wouldn't chase me!

I don't have many birds here in the city. I've got a few kinds of sparrows and that's what's mostly been out there lately as I think the family has multiplied by a lot. Lots of young sparrows. And mixed in with them are house finches and always doves. But at least once a day there is a cardinal couple who stop by. That's as exotic as my backyard gets.

Leslie


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RE: Birds

I love birds, too, and I think we live just close enough to the wilderness on the edge of town that we get a nice variety. Every year we seem to have one nesting somewhere on or near our house, and I never have the heart to make them move. This year there is one in our gutters, and I have no idea what kind of bird it is. It is mostly a solid reddish brown color with some black and white markings, and it seems to be larger than a sparrow or warbler. I'll have to take a picture of it. Anyway, I'm sure it's making a huge mess in our gutter and is constantly scratching around and making noise, but it's fascinating our cats and I don't want to evict it, lol. We had a cardinal nesting in our photinias last year, which was cool. We've had sparrows, roadrunners, and killdeer, too.

The only "dangerous" wildlife we've had so far is the pack of coyotes that have lived within earshot of us for the five years we've been here. I've never seen one near the house, but I know they're out there somewhere.

I think I'm making some kind of peace with the pair of rabbits that have been eating my trees and shrubs. I see them playing together in our yard every day now, and they haven't touched my new shrubs yet so I let them be. They've also figured out that I toss my rotten strawberries out into the yard when I'm picking the fruit, and yesterday they just sat about 20 feet from me and waited for it. It's so hard to hate something so cute.


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RE: Birds

Jeanie,

We are in the bend of the Red River, so the Red River lies to our west, south and east. It took me a few years to grasp the significance of that fact because it has a huge impact on how much wildlife we see. I think we see lots of wild animals that are traveling from west to east or east to west to get from one area of the river to the other.

I thought I knew "how much" wildlife probably lived in the river bottoms, which includes some Wildlife Management Area land to our east and southeast, but I was wrong. After spending a lot more time down in the river bottoms on fire calls the last few years and observing a lot more animals and their tracks, I now realize we practically live in the wilds of Africa.....lol We jokingly call it The Oklahoma Outback.

Today I saw a wild animal that's new to me, having only seen them in books. Usually we see the 'traditional' black skunks with the white stripes, but today we saw our first spotted skunk. It was running across the road and was simply huge---probably about twice the size of the average skunk we see around here. It is a really bad skunk year. So, after 13 years here, apparently there are still a few surprises left.

I also have had to learn some new words. Folks here often refer to bobcats as bobtail cats and they refer to cougars as long-tailed cats. Some of them refer to ringtailed cats as weasles, although they aren't weasles.

This is a truly awful copperhead year too, and friends of ours who live in a worse snake area than we do (and ours is bad enough!) have already killed six or seven copperheads in their garage and it is only May.

Leslie, If we shoot an armadillo or, for that matter, any other wild animal, we always wear latex gloves when we pick up and dispose of the carcass. We actually don't shoot animals often, but will shoot one if it is being a persistent problem. Armadilloes roam our yard and dig it up nightly, but we finally have managed to keep them out of the garden the last couple of years. They are hard to control because they just dig under a fence if they so choose.

Heather, I like hearing the coyotes howl if they are a long way off and not a threat to our animals. If they are on a property, I'm not as happy to have them around, particularly in winter. The wild coyotes don't come too close to the house, but if you have some of the dog-coyote hybrids, they sometimes have enough "dog" in them that they are not afraid of people. We've had them come right into the driveway from the road while we were standing right there and it is an unsettling feeling. Some of them are surprisingly pretty, though, especially if one of their parents was an Irish setter or golden retriever.

I agree it is hard to hate the rabbits. I feed the cottontails all the time. They don't last very long here, though, because there are so many predators that eat them.

Dawn


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RE: Birds

I had a rose-breasted grosbeak for the first time in my (long) life a couple weeks ago, then my sister in Kansas saw one for the first time in her yard last week. Probably the same one since mine has gone. :o) Wish the goldfinches would hang around with their beautiful gold outfits.


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RE: Birds

Hi Patty!

I don't think I ever had seen a rose-breasted grosbeak either until we moved here, but I haven't seen them often...maybe once or twice a year.

At our house, the goldfinches seem to disappear in late March and reappear around November or December. I wish they'd stay all summer, but they don't. Or, if they do, they certainly aren't visiting the bird feeders.

Dawn


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RE: Goldfinches

Goldfinches disappear at my house in late Winter, also. Don't know where they go, but they always come back the next Winter, a whole flock of them, and they eat like Vultures. HA.

Jeanie


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RE: Birds

We recently moved to a house just about a mile from downtown Tulsa, and I was surprised to see white-crowned sparrows, field sparrows, and an indigo bunting within a week of our arrival. I'm sure they were passing through, but it's nice to have them for even a bit. One of our neighbors told me about hawks that frequent the area, and I've seen a couple of phases of red-tail already.

Gotta get a hummingbird feeder up!
Carol


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RE: Birds

So we have 2 lil banties that are growing in their covered crate inside the shop. Me and the girls came in for dinner and I left the shop door open since my husband was coming home soon.
When DH got home, he came and got me so I could see the red hawk that was sitting in the tree in our yard...presumably listening to the tweets of our baby chicks...........grrrr.


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RE: Birds

I don't usually see anything unusual but there's a Baltimore Oriole in the neighbors' sycamore who's trying valiently to attract a girlfriend.

Well, I guess living next to a big park I get to see Yellow Crowned night Herons and I hear the occasional Chuck-Wills-Widow (that's what I grew up calling them).


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RE: Birds

Yay for seeing a Painted Bunting! I'm the one that saw one for the first time and was so excited :~)
Glad you could see it, too....I want to know how to attract them and keep them around - they're amazing!

Sharon


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RE: Birds

i wonder about the goldfinches leaving your feeders. ours stay here year 'round and are eating the thistle constantly!

still have only seen 1 hummingbird this year tho.... lots of finches, english house sparrows (s**t birds - that's what we call 'em), 1 male oriole, our pair of brown thrashers-

and mr and mrs robin and the mockingbird couple - who have been here for years, and will come up to our patio table whilst we sit there, and take grapes from a bowl.

mr robin is fussy about his grapes, and will take his time picking out the perfect one, while demanding that you do not so much as breathe while he does that. man, that bird can throw some stink eye!! someday, i'll get him on video doing that!

dody


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RE: First time

Hi, Sharon
Hurray for Painted Buntings! I couldn't believe what I was seeing, not in Oklahoma! I have quite a variety of birds out here, but NOTHING like this before. He flew away entirely too quickly. I, too, would like to know how to attract them. My feeder has black oil sunflower seed in it, but maybe they like something a little more exotic.

Jeanie


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RE: Robins

Hi, Dody
Well, #1, I don't put out thistle seed, ever. The little guys seem perfectly happy with sunflower seed in the Winter and devour pounds of it. Who knows? Love your Robin's craftiness. Will look forward to your video, as for some reason, I don't have Robins. I have red-wing blackbirds, cardinals, doves, tits, black-capped chickadees, mockingbirds, white-crown sparrows, house sparrows, grackles, finches (in the Winter), road runners, hummers, that one lonely little painted bunting ( hope he comes back), etc., etc. and a whole herd of squirrels (the little thieves). HA. You're two up on me, though - no robins and no orioles.

Jeanie


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RE: Birds

Carol, Y'all sure are close to downtown now but you might be surprised what you'll see there in terms of birds. I know when we lived in Fort Worth, there were red-tailed hawks that were frequently seen in downtown Fort Worth, although it wasn't clear if they lived in the downtown area, or if they lived in some of the nearby river bottom areas and just came to town to eat.

Dody, I cannot speak for Jeanie, but our house is surrounded by thousands of largely unoccupied acres featuring tons and tons of native grasses and forbs. If the goldfinches even stay in this area in the summer you'd never know it, but they'd certainly have lots of native food sources and wouldn't need to visit a feeder. At the present time all the cool-season grasses and forbs have set seed, and since much of the land around us is never mowed or grazed, those seeds will be available to the wild things for months.

Jeanie, Based on my experience with painted buntings, they seem rather shy and like to slip in and eat largely unnoticed when few of the other birds are around. They also will visit the feeder that hangs from a large possumhaw holly or will eat hen scratch scattered on the ground for cardinals. They are partial to millet, and sometimes come to bathe in the mist of the sprinkler or mister if I turn it on for the hummers. There is nothing the birds here like better than having the sprinkler turned on in a location where they can sit on a fence or a tree and "play in the water" from the sprinkler.

Some birds, like the purple martins and mockingbirds, will follow me around the yard as long as I'm talking to them. The buntings come, eat and leave.

We have hummingbirds here in great profusion and I think the same ones come back from year to year because if I moved a feeder to a different place from where it was last year, the birds keeping going to last year's spot searching for that feeder. Several of the ruby-throated hummingbirds will sit on the electric lines with the doves and watch me work in the garden. Sometimes the hummers come sit pretty close to me, usually on the tomato cages or garden arbor, and watch me work. I think that once the birds are comfortable around a person, they almost seem to enjoy the interaction.

Dawn


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RE: Birds

With all this talk about birds, thought you guys might enjoy some hummingbird photos. These little guys are so cute.

Here is a link that might be useful: hummingbirds


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RE: Birds

Carol,
You can thank the gilcrease museum for that I think. Many of their areas are designed to attract song birds. I see all kinds of birds I had not ever seen in tulsa before since I moved to gilcrease. Whats really neat is the restaurant up there puts feeders up and has a big glass wall so you can go have a nice sunday brunch and watch the birds eat literally 2 feet away from you.


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RE: Birds

Jeanie,
All the bunting like millet. Put out it in a feeder and you will attract the. If I can figure out how to post a pic, I will post the Lazuli bunting that has been coming to my feeder here in Oklahoma.

Gayle


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RE: Birds

lkeel, very nice pics, your feeder are very colorful too! Thanks for sharing pics... happy bird watching. -Chandra


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RE: Birds

HE'S BACK! My PB returned today.

I have seen, more than once, the mention of chicken grit for bird feed. Just what IS chicken grit? I'm sure it is something you feed chickens, but what is in it? Is it safe for ALL birds? Do you mix it with sunflower seeds? Is it cheaper than SF seeds? Do you buy it at local feed stores? Due to the number of birds that I feed, SF seeds get expensive, and thistle seed is absurd, which makes no sense to me, that the seeds from such easily grown flowers and weeds would be so pricey! There must be a large population of us feeding birds for the market's being able to demand such cost and get away with it. It reminds me of sugar-free and salt-free foods. OK. They omit certain ingredients, but charge you more?!
I COULD get into politics here, but won't, as I started this thread about birds! Would appreciate some info about the "grit", though. Thanks.

Jeanie


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RE: Birds

I don't think you want grit, just chicken scratch. Just ask at your local feed store. The price for scratch has gone up just like everything else....of course there is no inflation!


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RE: Birdfeed

Gayle,
Thanks for the Millet tip. Wow! I am jealous of your Lazuli bunting! I'm not positive, but I may have seen a female Indigo bunting on my BB the other day. She was brown with just a hint of blue, and when she jumped into the BB and wetted her feathers, the edges of her tail were a beautiful blue. Birds can be so confusing as their plumage changes colors during mating season! The buntings are such a beautiful breed of birds.

Soonergrandmom,
Thanks for straightening me out on grit and scratch, because I SURE wouldn't have known the difference!
Oh, yeah. And I'm still a'hopin and a'waitin for the changin!

Jeanie


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RE: Birds

Heres the Lazuli bunting. Trust me on the millet. It's cheap and it works!
And the female is brown with a little blue. Sometimes they only stay a few days! Enjoy!
Gayle

http://i373.photobucket.com/albums/oo177/rdh4health/Birds and butterflies/_MG_3189_2.jpg


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RE: Birdpic

Gayle,
for some reason, the pic didn't come thru........

Jeanie


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RE: Beautiful!

Gayle,
Finally got pic. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing. Still jealous. HA.

Jeanie


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RE: Birds

Dody that is so funny about that bird giving you the stink-eye!
I have been watching a couple of red-headed woodpeckers on the tree in our front yard, those are some big birds! I never saw them when living in the city, and I don't see them as often as I do the cardinals and various others. They are fun to watch.
Jammie


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RE: Birds

Here are a few of the birds I took last week. The painted bunting has been quite shy. Hoping to get a better pic soon!
I'm just now figuring out how to post pics!

Gayle

Here is a link that might be useful: Bird pics


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RE: Birdpix

Gayle,
Pix are wonderful. Congrats on figuring out how to post pix. I have photo- bucket, but don't know how to post the pictures. Be very glad because I would probably bore everyone to death with postings. HA. I'm going to get some Millet and see if I can't attract more Buntings.

Jeanie


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RE: Birds

Dawn - the bird lady down the street assures me there is plenty of bird life in our neighborhood. I did hear a chickadee today, which is a first for me here. We've put in several gardens over the last week, and it'll be interesting to see the wildlife increase as the plants grow.

Dody - talk about robin stink-eye! While digging up for the new gardens, the robins would move in as soon as our backs were turned, and almost would refuse to leave when we got back to it. They do cast a mean stink-eye!

Okie - I hadn't thought about the impact Gilcrease would have, but you're probably right. It's amazing out there, isn't it? How close are you to it?

Carol


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RE: Painted Bunting

Am fascinated by the beautiful Painted Bunting, so have been reading up on it. Most of you probably already knew these things, but will post what I have learned, just in case

P B Facts:
Member of Cardinal family.
Bright colored with blue head, green back and red stomach is male.
Drab colored green is female.
Shy, difficult to see.
Mostly monogmous.
Sometimes hops along on ground.
Seed eater.
Oklahoma is one of its Summer breeding areas.
At one time was a captured, caged bird, but now illegal.
Is nearing endangered list, especially on East Coast due to losing habitat to industry and construction.
The most colorful bird in America.

Thanks to Dawn's and Gayle's suggestion, I am going to buy Millet seed to add to my feeders, as I want them to be repeat visitors, along with my many other bird visitors.

As I have said before, my favorite gardening poem on "My Page" expresses how I feel about life.

Jeanie


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RE: Birds

Jeanie- when you move the mouse over a picture in photobucket, a list will drop down. Click the HTML code. It should say "copied". Then click in your message box and press Ctrl + V.

Photobucket


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RE: Help!

Tigerdawn,
Love the kitty pic!
The only Internet I have at the moment is my I-phone. There is no high-speed Internet service where I live but Hughesnet. Have checked into it , and it is just too pricey for my budget. My son down-loaded photo bucket for me, so will have to get him to show me how to transfer pix. I have played with it to no success, so far. Thank you SO much for your info. Computers drive me nuts. HA.

Jeanie


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RE: Birds

carol, so glad to know that i'm not the only one who's been privy to the "robin stink eye"!!

i love the silly birds :)

dody


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RE: Birds

We have mockingbirds!

I came home this evening to see two mockingbirds sitting on our holly bushes, chirping away in distress at the fact that my cat Stormy was sitting in the window watching them. The standoff is still going on right now, and it has been almost an hour.

I did figure out why they're flipping out, though. They have a nest up in our gutters, and I guess they lost one somehow:


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