Wingtip: Birds are basically creatures of habit when it comes to foraging at established food plots they have identified. If you are one that keeps your bird feeders filled, that consistency will keep birds visiting your bird feeders in these absolute frigid temperatures with snow covering many natural food plots.  However, if you sporadically put feed in the feeders, leaving them empty for periods of time, you may see fewer birds at your feeders. Birds move around during the day keeping tabs on where the food is available. If feeders remain empty for lengthy periods, they will bypass those inconsistent food resources for more productive plots or feeders. Enjoy birds more during the winter. Keep your bird feeders filled.
January News From
The Wild Bird Habitat Stores
Connecting families with nature since 1993
in their backyards and beyond
 21st  Annual 
Great Backyard Bird Count
February 16 - 19, 2018
Details in Below
January Birding News Notes:
  • Watch your feeders closely for any new birds showing up. Backyard bird watchers account for most of the rare bird sighting
  • Ice and the heavy snows have covered up natural foods. Keep the feeders filled.
  • Ice and heavy snows have covered up natural grit sources needed by birds to digest seeds.
  • If you didn't have Goldfinches before the Christmas snows, you will have now.
  • Open water and well stocked bird feeders can increase the survival of birds during    extreme winters by up to 50%.
  • Use a ground feeder with Proso millet and safflower, or a general wild bird mix, for our ground feeding birds.
  • Provide suet and peanuts for woodpeckers, Carolina Wrens, Brown Creepers, and other birds of the tree trunk zone.
  • Make plans now to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count, February 16 - 19, 2018
 Bird of the month - THE BROWN CREEPER
Read about the Brown Creeper  below
DON'T FORGET THE GRIT!
Birds need grit to help grind and digest the foods they eat. Often they can find gravel and various materials to aid in their digestive process. But when ice and snow pack cover the ground it becomes more difficult to find such products. You can help by offering grit to your birds. It can be placed out separately, or even a little mixed in with food on a platform feeder. An occasional hand full of sand or gravel tossed on the ground will work, or you can purchase granite grit at the Wild Bird Habitat Stores. A little grit can go a long way.
NOW ON SALE

NYJER THISTLE SEED &
WBH FINCH MIX
NOW JUST $1.49 LB  -   Was $1.65 LB
Bottle, Bucket, or Sack
Thru January
Triple cleaned, fresh & pure
Coming in February
the 21st Annual
GREAT BACKYARD BIRD COUNT
GBBC Window
Go to


This four day count is open to those with all levels of birding experience. Great fun for individuals, schools, and families to become citizen scientists and help track birds during the winter for the biologists at the Cornell University Bird Lab.
 
  •  Lots of fun for families, individuals, classrooms, youth and adult clubs and organizations.
  •  For all levels of birding experience. Beginners and experts are needed.
  •   Count on one or all four days
  •   Count birds in backyards, parks, nature centers, anywhere.
  •   Become a "Citizen Scientist" and provided valuable data about the birds you see to biologists to Cornell.
  • Just Count! Its for the birds.
  •   Best of all there's not cost to participate. ITS FREE
Its As Easy As 1, 2, 3
1. Plan to count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, February 16 - 19, 2018. You can count for longer than that if you wish! Count birds in as many places and on as many days as you like -one day, two days, or all four days. Submit a separate checklist for each new day. You can also submit more than one checklist per day if you count in other locations on that day. Locations are entered by zip code.

2. Count the greatest number of individuals of each species that you see together at any one time. You may find it helpful to print out your regional bird checklist to get an idea of the kinds of birds you're likely to see in your area in February. You could take note of the highest number or each species you see on this checklist.
 
3. When you're finished, enter your results on the Great Backyard Bird Count website. You'll see a button marked "Enter Your Checklists!" on the website home page beginning on the first day of the count (February 16, 2018). It will remain active until the deadline for data submission on March 1, 2018. 

Mark your calendars and count for the birds!
 
The Great Backyard Bird Count is FREE and for all levels of birding experience from the beginner to the novice and provides valuable data  to the biologists that track birds, This is a joint venture by the Cornell Bird Lab, Bird Studies Canada, and National Audubon
 



The Wild Bird Habitat Stores
are proud members of the
Wachiska Audubon's 
January Birding Field Trip
Information below
Feeding woodpeckers is one of the more entertaining aspects of my backyard bird feeders. The Downy Woodpecker being the most common with the Red-headed Woodpecker a fairly regular visitor. The Yellow-shafted Flicker is not as regular to the feeders, but when we see one its exciting. The flicker will cling to a caged feeder, as will the Red-bellied, and using their tongue reach in and grab a hulled sunflower seed. 

Woodpeckers have a tongue that can be up to 6 inches long. It coils up in the back of the skull when not being used to forage for food. The end of their tongue is slightly barbed and sticky to reach into cracks and crevices to extract larvae, anthropoids, and insects.

When the Hairy Woodpecker appears, which isn't too often, I know its the Hairy. The bill is as long as its skull where as the Downy's is only half the length of his skull. But the Hairy is 1/3 again larger than a Downy with much larger feet. But the one that causes the most excitement is the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. This is a woodpecker that nests to the east of Nebraska, but migrates laterally in the winter commonly seen at that time in the state.

Suet is a big draw for woodpeckers as a good suet such as is available at Wild Bird Habitat is 100% rendered animal fat, all protein for a hungry woodpecker. And since it is rendered all the bacteria has been killed so it keeps a rather long time. Different suets contain different seed and meal worm products mixed in for and added treat. But often if those added products are attracting squirrels or unwanted birds like Starlings, a pure suet with no other products is a good bet then.  

But for the most exciting woodpecker feeder its a peanut feeder packed with high fat (48%) shelled peanuts. Most woodpeckers won't pass it up. I have three in my yard and have witnessed all 5 woodpecker species enjoy them. If you live in a rural area you would most likely add the Red-headed Woodpecker to your list.

Rarely at times we might see a Northern Flicker which instead of the yellow shafted feathers under his rump and wings that the Yellow-shafted Woodpecker sports, the shafts on the Northern Flicker are red. They occur more often in western Nebraska.

There are woodpeckers in other parts of the country that do not occur in Nebraska that are attracted to backyard bird feeders. Once the Pileated Woodpecker was common in Nebraska along the Missouri River until logging destroyed most their habitat driving the north. Several pairs do nest along the river today and the numbers may be slowly returning. 

Woodpecker feeders seem to be busy all year long, even when other birds may not be visiting the feeders as often. During the summer months it is quite common to see the adult woodpeckers at the feeders with their young in tow, teaching them how to exploit a bird feeder. It's not long before those young fledglings are feeding at the feeders on their own.

Attracting woodpeckers is a real treat. So what do you need?
to see some of the woodpecker feeders and products available
Don't miss Dave's January Bird Chatter
Just scroll down

Wachiska Audubon's
FIELD TRIP: Winter Treasures
 
Meet members of Wachiska Audubon at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 14 , in Lincoln on the south side of the Capitol at 15th and H streets across from the governor's mansion and caravan or carpool 60 miles to Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge and Carter Lake to see common redpolls, snowy owls, red crossbills, and trumpeter swans. Dress for some winter hiking and bring a water bottle and binoculars if you have them. There is no fee and the public is welcome. If you have questions, call John Carlini at 402-475-7275.
The Wild Bird Habitat Stores offer one of the highest quality lines of wild bird feeds on the market. We offer over 20 mixes and single seed wild bird feeds, with deliveries made directly to our stores from Des Moines Feed twice weekly and rotated to maintain freshness. Our wild bird feeds are guaranteed to attract more birds. Our customers know and so do the birds.
Bird of the month

Brown Creeper
A common winter bird that often goes un-noticed is the Brown Creeper. That is due to the fact that this bird, which forages for food on tree trunks, blends in so well it appears to be part of the tree bark until you realize it is moving.
CLICK to learn more about the Brown Creeper
Register Now for Spring Birding Trips
Select you're trip below
Dave
Dave's January Bird Chatter
The Wild Bird Habitat Stores would like to extend a sincere thank you to all those individuals and families that are providing for our birds during this very difficult winter. In an instant the majority of natural foods that birds rely on were buried under feet of snow. The freezing temperatures have frozen almost every last drop of water that is crucial for the survival of all wildlife. The winter of 2018 has impacted two-thirds of America, making it very challenging for all our wild birds. Whereas most critters can find a burrow, den, or some form of shelter, our birds are left out in the open. They have been enduring some of the most extreme weather our planet has to offer. They brave the blistering cold nights, surviving only on what food they can forage during the shortened daylight hours. 
CLICK to read more of Dave's Bird Chatter
Myths & Misconceptions
read about them below
SPRING BIRDING EXCURSIONS
Annual Prairie Chicken Festival
Prairie Chicken, Sharp Tailed Grouse Festival & Viewing in the Sandhills at the Switzer Ranch, Burwell, Nebraska.

Friday-Sunday, April 13-15
Full agenda for the weekend will be sent to all participants.
 
$500/person (double)  Single room options may be available at an additional $75.
  Registration and deposit is due by January 5.

Experience the booming and dancing of the greater prairie chicken and sharp-tailed grouse during lek tours on the Switzer Ranch through Calamus Outfitters.
 
PPNC Logo
Sponsored by the
Pioneers Park Nature Center
This multi-day excursion includes transportation, two nights of lodging, meals dinner Friday - lunch, Sunday, early morning guided lek tours on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and guided birding and wildlife viewing at the Calamus reservoir on Saturday. An optional jeep tour of the 10,000+ acre Switzer Ranch can be book for Saturday for an additional $50/person. 
 
Known for their mating dance, the greater prairie chickens display together in a gathering called a lek. The male prairie chickens raise their ear tuft feathers, inflate the bright orange air sacks on their neck, and stomp about in order to attract the females. Similarly the sharp-tailed grouse will display or dance to attract female grouse to their dancing grounds as well.
 
Greater prairie chickens are a vulnerable species. Prairie habitat fragmentation and loss have been a factor in the reduction of numbers. Today, the populations of greater prairie chicken are isolated to the mixed grass prairies of the central United States. Preservation and restoration of prairie habitat have been successful at stabilizing population numbers. 
 
$250 deposit is due by January 5, 2018 and includes non-refundable $50 fee. The remaining balance is due by March 1, 2018. The deposit minus the registration fee is refundable until January 5, 2018. The paid balance minus the deposit is refundable until March 1, 2018. 

Contact the Pioneers Park Nature Center at (402) 442-7895 for more information or to register for this exciting weekend trip

SANDHILL CRANE VIEWING TRIP
Travel to the Rowe Sanctuary in Gibbon, Nebraska to Witness the Migration of OVER 500,000 Sandhill Cranes

Friday, March 9
Noon - 10:30 pm
$85/person
 
Registration and payment is due by February 9.
 
One of the world's greatest migrations converges right here in Nebraska. Witness these spectacular birds as they forage and dance in the fields and fly above us on our way to the Ian Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary in Gibbon, Nebraska.
 
PPNC Logo
Sponsored by the Pioneers Park Nature Center
Stops will include a visit to the Crane Trust Nature  and Visitor Center and dinner at Burchell's White Hill Farmhouse. Our final stop will be Rowe Sanctuary where we will hear a short presentation on cranes and make our way to a private viewing blind along the Platte River. As we watch the sunset, we'll listen to thousands of cranes and observe them as they gather on the river for the night. Included in this remarkable experience is transportation, dinner, and cost of the blind. (The $25 blind reservation fee is nonrefundable if the trip is canceled. Participants must have the ability to walk uneven trails in low light.
 
Space is limited. Register by February 9. This is an annual trip. Registration opens in January. The trip is typically scheduled to take place at the peak of the Sandhill Crane migration in early-mid March.

Contact the Pioneers Park Nature Center at (402) 442-7895 for more information or to register for this exciting day trip

Check out "BIRD FEEDING 101" below
Some Common Myths and Misconceptions About Feeding Birds
 
Red-breasted Nuthatch
A recent article once again raised the issue of birds becoming dependent on backyard bird feeders especially during the winter months. Birds do not rely on any one single food source. Their ability to forage for a variety of foods under various conditions along with the uncanny ability to adapt to changes has proven to be a successful survival instinct over millions of years. What birds cannot adapt to is the loss of habitat which is the number 
one cause for the rapidly declining populations of many bird species which is not a myth but a fact. Here are some common myths associated with backyard bird feeding:
 
Myth: Birds become dependent on bird feeders.
Fact: While the same birds may regularly visit feeders as part of their daily foraging, studies have shown that wild birds only get an average of 25 percent of their food from feeders. There are many wild food sources that birds prefer and while they will visit feeders out of convenience, they are well able to find other sources of food if feeders are unavailable. Feeders may become more critical during harsh winters, but birds will not starve if the feeders aren't filled. We do however recommend during these extreme weather events you keep your bird feeders filled as snow and ice may cover up much of the natural foods for a period of time.
 
Myth: If birds eat uncooked rice, it can swell up in their throats or stomachs and kill them.
Fact: Plenty of birds eat uncooked rice in the wild. Bobolinks, sometimes called "rice birds," are a good example. While rice is okay for birds, many wedding parties now throw bird seed instead.
 
Myth: Birds can choke on peanut butter.
Fact: There is no documented evidence for this. However, mixing peanut butter with grit or cornmeal will break up the stickiness if you are concerned.
 
Myth: Birds' feet can stick to metal perches.
Fact: This is not likely. A bird's legs and feet are made up mostly of tough tendons that have little blood flow during cold weather. However, we've heard rumors of feet sticking to perches: if you observe this unfortunate circumstance, please take a picture and send it to Project Feeder Watch.
 
Myth: Feeding Birds in the Fall Keeps Them from Migrating
Fact: Many inexperienced birders assume that as long as there is food available, the birds will be there, and that feeding them will interfere with the birds' migration . While some bird species, such as American robins and waxwings , are nomadic with relation to their food sources, birds that migrate depend on the weather, daylight and their own genetic instincts to begin migration. Instead of keeping birds from migrating, available feeders actually give them a much needed energy boost to help them survive their long journeys.
 
Myth: You Don't Need to Feed Birds in the summer
Fact: While there are more natural food sources available during the summer months, including flowers, insects, fruits and natural seeds, these are the same months when parent birds are overworked trying to provide for hungry broods and growing nestlings . Supplemental food from feeders is an easy and convenient resource for many summer birds, particularly at a time when there are more birds around to compete for the same food sources. By feeding the birds in the summer, you'll enjoy many more species in your backyard and will "teach" young birds where to return the following year for a reliable food source.
ARNIE

Arnie's Pet Foods is happy to announce adding several new lines  of all natural pet foods to our inventory...coming soon to
Arnie's Pet Foods
a division of Wild Bird Habitat

BIRD FEEDING 101

By Dave at Wild Bird Habitat
Our winter birds, the Red-breasted nuthatch, Dark-eyed Juncos, Harris's and White-crowned sparrows, and others are beginning to arrive. They are replacing the birds of summer such as orioles, grosbeaks and bluebirds, which are now but warm weather memories. The warblers who have nested to our north are passing through this month, stopping in our yards for a splash in the bird bath and to glean what insects remain before retreating further south ahead of the approaching winter. Yes, autumn is a time of great change.
CLICK to read full article
Get out in nature this winter with the help of
THE PIONEERS PARK NATURE CENTER
check out
Healthy kids and adults play outdoors
How Important Is Water In Winter For Birds
Temperatures have definitely been falling in the northern states and
Central Great Plains as winter approaches. Even many southern states have experienced some cooler weather than normal. As the mercury drops it becomes increasingly more difficult for birds to find open water. In some areas a mid-day sun may melt enough snow to fulfill a birds requirement for water, but there is no guarantee of this as the icy grip of winter slowly sets in on the Plains and elsewhere.

CLICK to read full article
 Check out Wild Bird Habitat's by clicking on
Is your bird bath heater ready to go?
It won't be long before we get our first taste of temperatures below freezing on the Great Plains. Many folks may be left with a thin layer of ice on their bird baths. The weather is going to warm, but this is just a reminder of what is to come. Now is a great time to test your bird bath heater and make sure you're ready for cold weather.
PEANUT BIRD FEEDERS
One of Dave's favorite and  bird feeders
Check out Dave's photos below
Peanut Feeders - A picture is worth a thousand words
Yellow-shafted Flicker
Downy feeding young
Hairy Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
photos by Dave of Wild Bird Habitat

Check out Wild Bird Habitat's Peanut Feeders

 

 Brome Bird Care
Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders
Check out these amazing feeders below
Best Woodpecker Suet Plugs

Attractor High Energy Suet Plugs available at 
the Wild Bird Habitat Stores

  • Roasted Peanut Attractor Plugs
    P-Nutbutter Logs
    Suet Log w/WP
  • Pure Attractor Plugs
  • Sunflower Attractor Plugs
  • No-Melt Peanut Butter Attractor Plugs
By the pack or by the case, woodpeckers love 'em



 Environmentally friendly feeders!
Check out Birds Choice professional feeders below
Made in the USA / Lifetime warranty
Environmentally Friendly Bird Feeders
Birds Choice Recycled Feeders
Although the durability and natural look of cedar bird feeders continue to be preferred, the new line of feeders made from 100% post consumer recycled plastic is gaining in popularity. Many of these bird feeders have a lifetime warranty against fading, pealing, cracking, and chipping. They clean up like brand new, even after years of use. And speak of easy cleaning, many of the cedar and recycled plastic feeders we stock have removable perforated steel bottoms. This also allows moisture to pass through and the seed to remain dry.
 

Made in the USA

Best affordable 
SQUIRREL PROOF 
BIRD FEEDERS

2 YEAR TO LIFETIME WARRANTIES

BROME 
BIRD CARE

Did you know Wild Bird Habitat Store's wild bird feeds, poultry feeds, and pigeon feeds are NON-GMO, pesticide free, and premium grade
 Nebraska - A top birding region in North America
Learn below where to go birding in Nebraska
 Nebraska - A top birding region in North America
Learn below where to go birding in Nebraska
 Hard copy field guide or APP?
Get free bird ID APPS below from Cornell Bird Lab
 WHERE TO GO BIRDING IN NEBRASKA
A top North American Birding Area
Nebraska Birding Trails

Listing more than 400 bird watching sites across the state of Nebraska. From the Missouri River Valley to the panhandle's rugged Pine Ridge, you'll find world class bird watching, scenic vistas, and a remarkable Nebraska Heritage around every corner.  nebraskabirdingtrails.com
 
 
Nebraska Metro Birding
Bird watching in seven counties in Eastern Nebraska. Find birding sites right out your backdoor in Cass, Dodge, Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy, Saunders, and Washington counties. nebraskametrobirding.com
 
Central Nebraska, one of the major migratory routes on the continent. From Sandhill Cranes to Prairie Chickens, shore birds to prairie dog towns, it's an incredible journey you don't want to miss. nebraskaflyway.com 
Chicken Dance Trail

Chicken Dance Birding Trail, 27 counties in Southwestern Nebraska 
Birding in South Central & South Western Nebraska.  chickendancetrail.com.

Identify Birds with your Android or IPhone
Wildlife Rescue needs your help
Lear below how you can help 
 Deter squirrels and blackbirds with Nutra Safflower & regular safflower
Everything you need to know - scroll down
Project BEAK
Bird Education Awareness for Kids 
Connect kids with birds below

Want to know what birds birders are seeing in your area?
Want to let other birders know what birds you see?

Its fun and easy at 
 
Like us on Facebook
It's Finally Ready and its all FREE to download
MERLIN BIRD PHOTO ID

Photo ID now in mobile apps

A new advanced version of the Photo ID tool is now available for download in the latest version of Merlin Bird ID for Android and iPhone. Select an image from your smartphone image gallery or snap a shot from the back of your cameras viewfinder, and Merlin will walk you through the 2 quick steps before showing you a list of possible species.



Learn more at PHOTO ID

Also the Merlin Bird ID app at MERLIN
Wild Bird Habitat Stores
recipients of the 2015
Best U.S. Birding Retailer
from
Gold Crest Distribution, Birding Business Magazine
& leaders in the Bird Feeding Industry
Nutra Safflower for Goldfinch
Nyjer thistle seed has traditionally been the preferred seed of the American Goldfinch. The cost of Nyjer seed can vary greatly as it is a product imported to North America from India and Ethiopia and they set the price, and the price is rising once again. Nyjer is an oil seed which is why it is enjoyed so much by finches. In countries where it is grown this seed is crushed and used for cooking oil, much as in North America we crush black oil sunflower and safflower seed for cooking oil.

At Wild Bird Habitat Store we have received many reports and have had personal experience that Goldfinch readily feed on Nutra Safflower seed. In fact they may prefer it over Nyjer thistle seed. This could be a great alternative to supplementing Nyjer thistle seed for attracting Goldfinch. One benefit of Nutra Safflower is that this is a product grown by American farmers.

Nutra Safflower is available in 20 and 50 pound bags at the Wild Bird Habitat Store locations or by bulk quantity.

Internet customers can order Nutra Safflower seed on line. Although Wild Bird Habitat Stores Internet store offers free shipping on orders over $100, there is no free shipping on wild bird feeds. That allows us to keep our Internet wild bird feed prices low.   Order Nutra Safflower on line.

 

Caged Peanut Feeders - Feed woodpeckers not squirrels & starlings
Yellow-shafted Flicker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
photos by Dave of Wild Bird Habitat

Check out Wild Bird Habitat's Peanut Feeders

 

 Attractor Suet Plugs - Highly nutritious 
Nebraska Birding Trails
Nebraska Birding Trails Website 
Has a New Look
The Nebraska Birding Trails was developed in 2003 listing more than 400 birding sites across Nebraska. Chaired by Dave Titterington of Nebraska's Wild Bird Habitat Stores with members of the Nebraska Bird Partnership's Birding Trails Work-group which was comprised of members from government agencies, the University of Nebraska, Nebraska Travel and Tourism, Nebraska Ornithologists Union, and conservation groups and individual birders, it was an immediate success. Recently the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission with the help of Nebraska Educational Television revised the Nebraska Birding Trails website to give it a new look and make navigation locating birding sites easier. We hope you check it out at: 

NEBRASKA BIRDING TRAILS 

Two other websites developed by the Educational Work-group of the Nebraska Bird Partnership have also been revised. 

PROJECT BEAK
Project Beak
Project BEAK is an interactive, web-based curriculum that contains scientifically accurate information about avian conservation, avian form, function and other adaptations that help birds survive, Nebraska's unique avian biodiversity, Nebraska's threatened and endangered birds, plus video clips, interactive games, quizzes and diagrams, additional resources and links, and classroom lesson plans. 

This website is devoted to helping Nebraskans and visitors identify and learn about the over 400 species of birds which can be found in our state.  Are you trying to identify a bird you saw?  Use "search by characteristics", where you can search by size, color, range, and habitat. Or, you can search or browse the full Nebraska bird list by common name, scientific name, or bird group.

Wildlife Rescue
During spring and early summer dozens of migrating and nesting birds become injured or orphaned. Volunteers are needed to help these birds recover and return to the wild.  

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
Founded in 1979, Wildlife Rescue Team, Inc is a non-profit, independent, all volunteer organization dedicated to raising and rehabilitating Nebraska's injured and orphaned wildlife for eventual release back into their natural habitats. Wildlife Rescue Team, Inc relies solely on private private donations and contributions, membership fees, and donations of products for the benefit of ongoing rehabilitation efforts. 

YOU CAN HELP
There is always a need for cash donations as well as wildlife rehabilitators, phone volunteers, people willing to build cages, locations for animal releases, people to pick up injured or orphaned animals to transport to drop off locations, local businesses to provide discounts for supplies, and veterinarian assistance. 

Please consider joining the mission of the Wildlife Rescue Team to help orphaned and injured wildlife in Nebraska. You can make a donation or join online at wildliferescueteamincne.org. You may contact a team member at info@wildliferescueteamincne.org
 Where to go  Birding in Nebraska
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4840 Orchard
(402) 464-4055
Alamo Plaza Store
(402) 420-2553
Wild Bird Habitat Store

South Lincoln, NE location
5601 South 56th Street
In the Alamo Plaza

      North Lincoln, NE location
                                                  4840 Orchard Street
                                      in the little white house

Intergity Award
                                      E-Mail:info@wildbirdhabitatstore.com

Toll Free Phone: (800) 606-2553

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