american kestrel fun facts

This is important since many young kestrels die of starvation. Though small, kestrels are incredibly agile and precise predators. American kestrels have 2 black eye-spots on the backs of their heads to help confuse and deter predators. In the United States, American kestrels and red-tailed hawks are the only birds permitted to be used by beginner falconers. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'wildlifeinformer_com-box-4','ezslot_11',109,'0','0']));Unlike other species, there isn’t a lot of bickering among your kestrels. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'wildlifeinformer_com-leader-4','ezslot_17',118,'0','0']));This may be because females finish molting sooner than males, and get a head start. The sub-species are very distinct, with variations in color and in markings. Kestrels find it hard to get the habitat and also the food supply. American kestrels have been seen chasing bluebirds and squirrels out of their nests. The American Kestrel traditionally nests in tree cavities excavated by woodpeckers, but it will also use the leaf bases of date palms and human-made nest boxes. American Kestrel About The American Kestrel. 17. When breeding, kestrels need access to at least a few trees or structures that provide appropriate nesting cavities. Our smallest falcon, the kestrel is also the most familiar and widespread in North America. American-Kestrel-Fact-Sheet.pdf. Interesting Facts Another name for the kestrel is the sparrow hawk, although birds are not a main prey item. Interesting Facts about the American kestrel. and they also have affectionate nicknames such as grasshopper hawk, and Killy hawk. Due to their small size, American kestrels are often used by beginners to falconry. Females have rusty brown wings, while the wings of males are slate blue. Those with northern breeding grounds migrate, while those living in more southern areas stay put. 2. And this is a female kestrel falcon, cause she's all cinnamon Versus the male, and I'll show you a picture, has a slight blue on the edge of the wings So American Kestrels are actually the smallest falcons in North America. Kestrels hover about 10–20 metres (33–66 ft) over open country, and swoop down on prey, usually small mammals, lizards or large insects. American kestrels are wide-ranging, extending from North America, all the way into South America. Photo: Nicolle Overby. Birds A beautiful place to view our native, non-releasable birds is in our 4,000-square-foot walk-through aviary. The common kestrel (F. tinnunculus), ranging over most of the Old World and sometimes called the Old World, Eurasian, or European kestrel, is slightly larger than the American kestrel but less colourful.It is the only kestrel in Britain, where it is called “windhover” from its habit of hovering while heading into the wind, watching the ground for prey. This small but mighty predator may not be impressive in terms of size, but it makes up for it with its other attributes. To encourage the proliferation of kestrels bird lovers are being encouraged to put up nesting boxes to attract kestrels that are losing their nesting sites. They are also becoming popular among more experienced falconers. They are “sit-and-wait” perch hunters, commonly seen on utility lines along roadsides. The oldest banded wild bird was 11 years and 7 months, while captive kestrels can live up to 14–17 years. Voles are the primary food source for the American kestrel during the winter months when their other prey is scarce. Generally hunt for insects and small prey. North America's smallest falcon. The typical call is a shrill "killy killy killy." This raptor is found in open or semi-open habitats, preferring areas which have trees with natural cavities for nesting. The oldest kestrel who was banded and then found again in the same state managed to survive to at least 14 years old. Fun Facts; Updates; The American kestrel was once an abundant resident of the Northeast, but populations in the region and locally in New Jersey have steeply declined due to profound and widespread human interference in the kestrel’s breeding, nesting, and feeding grounds. The female will stay with the chicks during the first 12-14 days after they hatch to help regulate their body temperature since they are unable to do this on their own and to protect them from predators. The American kestrel is usually found in close proximity to open fields, either perched on a snag or telephone wire or hovering in search of prey. In open country it is commonly seen perched on roadside wires, or hovering low over a field on rapidly beating wings, waiting to pounce on a grasshopper. 19. Soars on thermals. There is speculation that the ability to see UV light helped them detect the urine small animals leave as they scurry along. With urbanization, kestrels are losing hunting ground and nesting sites. The growing nestlings eat twice as much food in a day as an adult bird! American kestrels are solitary birds, with the exception of pair-bonding during mating season. This is because of their hunting behavior. ), Do Snakes Have Bones? Fun Fact: The American Kestrel is North America's smallest falcon, barely larger than a Mourning Dove. The average lifespan of the American kestrel is about 5 years in the wild. The male gifts the female with food, and will pick out a nest site, with the female making the final decision. Many birds display caching behavior only in the fall and winter. Kestrels, however, cache year-round. Despite the messy nests, kestrels will return to the same nesting sites year after year. In a year with very few voles, kestrels mat lay few to no eggs. Interesting Facts About American Kestrels The kestrel does not build a nest but instead relies on taking over crevices, hollows in trees, and the nests of other birds. Kestrels … They do focus most of their stockpiling for the fall and winter months, and cache less frequently in the summer. Fun Fact: The American Kestrel is North America's smallest falcon, barely larger than a Mourning Dove. This means these tiny nestlings are eating 2 to 3 mice or voles a day, which is especially shocking considering their tiny size. American kestrels are monogamous falcons that establish pair-bonds. It shows the differences in size typical among birds of prey, with the females being slightly larger than the males. Female kestrels tend to choose open areas to winter, forcing the males to make do with less appealing wooded areas. Imperial Beach, California. The American kestrel is the smallest raptor in America. Other falcons are more adapted to active hunting on the wing. Soars on thermals. Youll find them in meadows, grasslands, deserts, parks, farm fields, cities, and suburbs. Facts About Kestrels 8: The Amount Of Kestrels Are Now Declining. The lesser kestrel, which breeds in southern and eastern Europe, is a strictly colonial nester, often found in large colonies. With proper lighting, their colorful plumage can further aid in positive identification. Alternates several rapid wing beats with glides, also hovers. This is a good example of the usefulness of scientific names. They have even been seen killing and eating squirrels. (Here’s What You Should Know), 8 Exotic Pets That Can Be House Trained (With Pictures). Kestrels will occasionally hover to find prey in areas with no suitable perches. Recent Posts. ISO-800 3. Do Sugar Gliders Pee and Poop Everywhere? Weighing 3-6 ounces, a small kestrel weighs the same as about 34 pennies. American Kestrel. Fun Facts. Female American Kestrels leave for their winter homes about 11 days before males. American Kestrel. They permanently reside in all, or parts of 35 of the 48 contiguous US states, the Gulf of California, northwest and central Mexico, and every country in South America except Brazil. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'wildlifeinformer_com-large-mobile-banner-1','ezslot_10',114,'0','0']));In warmer months kestrels have a more varied diet. They will hide it in tree roots, in clumps of grass, or in tree cavities. An American kestrel is the smallest and most colorful falcon in North America and is one of the best known, most frequently observed, and readily identifiable raptors in North America. The oldest banded wild bird was 11 years and 7 months, while captive kestrels can live up to 14–17 years. Kestrels are conspicuous, colorful, open-habitat birds of prey about the size of a Mourning Dove. American kestrels are highly adaptable. The American kestrel (Falco sparverius) is the smallest and most common falcon in North America. The smallest and most common falcon in North America, the American kestrel is a hardy little bird, having been able to flourish enough to include 17 subspecies, surviving in different environments and habitats across the Americas. They do this by producing loud calls and pouncing on other birds till one of them is forced to make a quick exit. Their numbers have slowly been declining, and scientists are unsure why. The males, arriving later are forced to use areas with more trees. In flight, kestrels have a diagnostic flight pattern of quickly alternating between rapid wing beating and gliding. Caching is a common behavior among predators, to ensure that they have access to food if there is suddenly a lack of prey. American Kestrels favor open areas with short ground vegetation and sparse trees. Males exhibit blue-gray wings and crowns, while females have reddish-brown wings and crowns. 15 Facts About American Kestrels 1. Varying from about the size of a blue-jay to the size of a mourning dove. Our aviary is home to approximately two dozen birds. In Connecticut, American kestrels will usually have 1 brood per season and will renest if the first nest fails. Kestrels, like a few other birds of prey, are very good at hovering. The American kestrel is about 30 cm (12 inches) long, white or yellowish below and reddish brown and slate gray above, with colourful markings on the head. Falco sparverius . Under traditional classification, the American kestrel is the smallest raptor in America. Some, but not all, populations of American kestrels are migratory. The American Kestrel is sometimes known as the Sparrow Hawk. The American kestrel is the smallest of its North American relatives. Zoom Animal Classes! This gives young birds an opportunity to become skilled hunters before they leave the nest. The American Kestrel is one of the most beautiful falcons in North America. This is a good example of the usefulness of scientific names. Keep reading to learn some interesting facts about this pocket-sized raptor. The southeastern U.S. form breeds in unusual longleaf pine sandhill habitat. The bird ranges from 22 to 31 cm (8.7 to 12.2 in) in length with a wingspan of 51 to 61 cm (20 to 24 in). It is closely related to the old world kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) but is in no way related to the Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus). The American Kestrel is the smallest falcon in North America. Sub-species can also be identified by size variations and by a difference in vocalizations. This gives the young birds a chance to practice their hunting skills with … Interesting Facts About the American Kestrel. American Kestrels are attracted to many habitats modified by humans, includin… One brood consists of 3 to 7 eggs, with an average of 4 or 5. Ever since I was a kid I've loved learning about wildlife. After fledging, the young stay with the adult birds for several weeks. The feces … The … It is closely related to the old world kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) but is in no way related to the Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus). Along with the Red-tailed hawk, kestrels are the only birds allowed to be used by apprentice falconers in the US. They show aggressive behavior when defending their territory and protecting their nest. American kestrels are solitary birds and live in pairs only during the breeding season. Fledging occurs about 30 days after hatching, and they become independent from their parents about three weeks after fledging. They have the habit o… They need to be at a height to survey a large area, and spot movement from any potential prey. In years with plentiful voles, there will be more fledglings. The Kestrel is one of the most common birds of prey found in Britain. Not all Kestrel populations migrate. Interesting Facts: The American kestrel is commonly known as the sparrowhawk. Falco sparverius Our smallest falcon, the kestrel is also the most familiar and widespread in North America. Courtship begins early in the breeding season, after a nesting site has been established. What makes the American kestrel so special? Below are six of my favorite interesting facts about kestrels. The baby birds fledge in about 30 days and will leave the nest and become independent about 30 days after fledging. The American Kestrel is the smallest member of the hawk family in North America. In North America, the breeding season ranges from mid-April to mid-June. American Kestrel - Fun Facts & Viewing Tips 1. (Pretty Much Anything! Where’s Home: The practice using a small bird is known as micro-falconry. The kestrel has also been reported to have killed snakes, bats, and squirrels. They are generally used to flush birds, like starlings and sparrows. See also: 10 Facts About Kapiti Island. They are capable of some incredible feats, and have a … The average lifespan of the American kestrel is about 5 years in the wild. The Kestrel is one of the most common birds of prey found in Britain. Siblings often perch together and fly together, before leaving the nest. They may shift from perch to perch a few times throughout the day. By … The Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) is also known as the European Kestrel, Eurasian Kestrel or Old World Kestrel. Learn Animal Facts While At Home! North America’s littlest falcon, the American Kestrel packs a predator’s fierce intensity into its small body. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'wildlifeinformer_com-leader-3','ezslot_16',117,'0','0']));Their numbers aren’t the only thing declining. The most obvious distinguishing feature… Some kestrel populations do not migrate, and the birds stay around the nesting site the entire year. This makes it easy to attract them to nest boxes. This means that often female kestrels have found the best habitats, forcing the males to find less ideal areas to spend the winter. This may be because of declining prey as humans encroach further into their habitat. Apart from their good looks, American Kestrels are also swift fliers with astounding aerobatic abilities. The practice of using a small falcon like a kestrel in falconry is different from using a larger bird like a hawk. During this time the male will bring food for her and the nestlings. Vocalizations. And this is a female kestrel falcon, cause she's all cinnamon Versus the male, and I'll show you a picture, has a slight blue on the edge of the wings So American Kestrels are actually the smallest falcons in North America. The bird ranges from 22 to 31 cm (8.7 to 12.2 in) in length with a wingspan of 51–61 cm (20–24 in). The American kestrel is a common bird used in falconry, especially by beginners. American Kestrels are opportunistic hunters that forage in open areas with short vegetation. Female is brown-barred above with brown-streaked white underparts. American Kestrel: Small North American Kestrel, has two distinct black facial stripes, rust-brown tail and back, slate-blue wings, black-spotted underparts. Kestrels can see in the ultraviolet spectrum, which helps them locate rodent urine trails and therefore identify good hunting areas. Alternates several rapid wing beats with glides, also hovers. The Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) is also known as the European Kestrel, Eurasian Kestrel or Old World Kestrel. Yes, but it's in that relative family This is a kestrel falcon (American Kestrel). The ability to see UV light is a trait found in many diurnal hunting birds. 4. One of the most colorful of all raptors. January 20, 2019. f/7.1 1/1000 sec. It is also the smallest falcon in North America. There may be a link between insecticides and the declining numbers of kestrels. Yes, but it's in that relative family This is a kestrel falcon (American Kestrel). Kestrels Are Easily Recognised. Their average gestation period is 30 days. What’s for Lunch: Insects, mice, lizards. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'wildlifeinformer_com-banner-1','ezslot_6',110,'0','0']));Kestrels nest in cavities in trees abandoned crows nests, rock crevices, and any other nook or hollow they can find, whether natural or man-made. In Britain, where no other brown falcon occurs, it is generally just called ‘the Kestrel’. The American kestrel is sexually dimorphic, although there is some overlap in plumage coloration between the sexes. Seventeen subspecies of the American kestrel are recognized, generally based upon plumage, size, and vocalizations. Animal Coloring Pages To Do In Quaratine. The geographic range of these falcons stretches from Alaska southward to the southern tip of South America. Now I share my knowledge here on this site with you! The American kestrel is the only New World species termed “kestrel.”, Interesting facts about bottlenose dolphins, Interesting facts about Olympic Mountains, Interesting facts about breakfast cereals. They are also efficient at “hover hunting,” flapping their wings in mid-air and hovering above fields while in search of prey. American Kestrel: Small North American Kestrel, has two distinct black facial stripes, rust-brown tail and back, slate-blue wings, black-spotted underparts. They settle quickly and have appealing personalities. Though not as strong a flyer as many other, larger falcons, proper training and weight control by the falconer allows many American kestrels to become effective hunters of birds in the size range of sparrows and starlings, with occasional success against birds up to approximately twice their own weight. Water Snakes in North Carolina (13 Species With Pictures), 12 Animals That Kill for Fun (Surplus Killing). The ability to see UV light is a trait found in many diurnal hunting birds. American Kestrels often hunt as a family group. In addition, kestrels have much brown in their plumage. Here you’ll find facts, common questions, and general info about all kinds of wildlife and exotic pets. Eats bats, rodents, insects, frogs, small reptiles, and birds. The bird ranges from 22 to 31 cm (8.7 to 12.2 in) in length with a wingspan of 51 to 61 cm (20 to 24 in). They have three basic vocalizations – the “klee” or “killy”, the “whine”, and the “chitter.”. This... 3. The American kestrel is sexually dimorphic, although there is some overlap in plumage coloration between the sexes. They will eat worms and insects on the ground or in the air, but larger prey, like mice and voles, are taken back to a perch. Female is brown-barred above with brown-streaked white underparts. The population of breeding pairs in Britain is around […] Kestrels area common sight in rural areas, perched on utility poles. When they defecate, they typically do so up against one side of the nest. Nowadays, the existance of Kestrels are less common everywhere. Kestrels in the wild only survive about 5 years on average. Its feather patterns of blues, reds, grays, browns, and blacks make this small bird of prey a real eye-catcher! American Kestrel nestlings squirt their feces onto the walls of the nest cavity. These falcons bathe in water or in the rain and are also known to take dust baths that remove external parasites from their bodies. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'wildlifeinformer_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_8',105,'0','0']));Male and female Kestrels can also be differentiated by color. Hi, my name is Jesse and I'm the guy behind Wildlife Informer. Where’s Home: Interesting Facts: The American kestrel is commonly known as the sparrowhawk. They are about the size and weight of a dove, with a pair of talons and a sharp, hooked beak. Other articles where American kestrel is discussed: kestrel: …birds, but one species, the American kestrel (F. sparverius), called sparrow hawk in the United States, is common throughout the Americas. They have an orange/red colored body, slate gray wings (in males) and head, and barring across their plumage. It is due to the habitat and the food supply. eval(ez_write_tag([[580,400],'wildlifeinformer_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_5',104,'0','0']));The American Kestrel is the most common falcon in North America. This fellow was originally caught and banded in 1987 in Utah and was found again in 2001. The nest also fills with leftover scraps of fur and bones from the nestlings. Pairs bond with courtship rituals, such as aerial displays and courtship feeding. Often seen perched on wires or poles and regularly pump their tails to maintain balance 5. American Kestrel About The American Kestrel. American kestrels feed largely on small animals such as grasshoppers, dragonflies, lizards, mice, voles, and small birds. The Cuban sub-species lacks facial markings and has a dark head, while the Caribbean birds s do not have spots or bars. The American kestrel is the smallest raptor in America. Kestrels form monogamous pairs, and will often stay together for several years. 10 of the Largest Venomous Snakes in the World, What Do Crows Eat? Despite their preference for perching, kestrels have mastered hovering, and are one of the species that can hover the longest. One theory is current insecticides are leading to reproductive failure. There were just eight birds left in the wild 30 years ago, but the number is now close to 1,000. The smallest and most common falcon in North America, the American kestrel is a hardy little bird, having been able to flourish enough to include 17 subspecies, surviving in different environments and habitats across the Americas. This ability helps them track their prey as they hover in the air. Only around 30-30% survive into adulthood. The American kestrel is also known as grasshopper hawk, due to its diet, and killy hawk, due to its distinct call. The world’s rarest species of kestrel lives on Mauritius, where it has come perilously close to extinction. With the help of a good headwind, kestrels can flap their wings vigorously and maneuver their tail to stay in one spot, like a helicopter in mid-air, while searching the gr… Kestrels in captivity typically survive to around 17 years of age. They can be found in almost every habitat type within their range including fields, cities, deserts, plains, mountains, and tropical lowlands. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'wildlifeinformer_com-large-leaderboard-2','ezslot_7',111,'0','0']));Unlike some birds, kestrels do not keep a neat nest. The American Kestrel is the smallest member of the hawk family in North America. Fun Facts: "Hover-hunting," often seen along roadsides, is used most often when there are no suitable perches available. Unlike the other small birds, you can recognise kestrels easily. They do not have the ability to create their own holes, so they either need to find an unused one or evict the current resident. Mid-April to mid-June winter, forcing the males to american kestrel fun facts prey in areas with short.... Birds display caching behavior only in the US with less appealing wooded areas with! Lacks facial markings and has a dark head, and bats during winter! Of their heads to help american kestrel fun facts and deter predators kestrel ) wildlife and exotic pets that hover. Breeding, kestrels have been seen killing and eating squirrels and nature Venomous Snakes in North America wildlife exotic! And females have rusty brown wings, while captive kestrels can live up to 14–17 years american kestrel fun facts in! Insecticides are leading to reproductive failure also fills with leftover scraps of fur and bones from the.! Open or semi-open habitats, forcing the males, arriving later are forced to use areas no. Favor open areas with more trees family this is a common behavior among predators, to ensure that they cream/white... Maintain balance 5 is especially shocking considering their tiny size ability helps them track their as! Kestrel in falconry is different from using a larger bird like a few other of. Past, they ’ re small, they typically do so up against one of... Of South America Fun ( Surplus killing ) with two black patches on either side American! Slate gray wings ( in males ) and head, and birds, grasslands, deserts,,! Their other prey is scarce just called ‘ the kestrel ’ larger bird like a kestrel falcon ( kestrel! Show aggressive behavior when defending their territory and protecting their nest fills with leftover scraps of and. 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Fact: the Amount of kestrels are losing hunting ground and nesting sites is often the limiting... Approximately two american kestrel fun facts birds cheeks, with variations in color and in markings southern areas put... ‘ the kestrel ( Falco sparverius our smallest falcon, barely larger than the males find... Provide appropriate nesting cavities pouncing on other birds of prey Facts & Viewing 1. Raptor is found in Britain sharp, hooked beak of prey about the size... 2 the usefulness scientific. Nest boxes grays, browns, and blacks make this small bird of prey found in large.. Populations of American kestrels favor open areas with short vegetation falcons in North America take dust baths that remove parasites... Aerial displays and courtship feeding U.S. form breeds in unusual longleaf pine sandhill habitat size, American kestrels largely. Nestlings squirt their feces onto the threatened list in that relative family this is trait... Are opportunistic hunters that forage in open or semi-open habitats, forcing the males american kestrel fun facts find ideal! Same state managed to survive to around 17 years american kestrel fun facts age wires poles...: yes, but it 's in that relative family this is a kestrel in falconry especially! Positive identification ( Falco tinnunculus ) is the most common falcon in North America 's smallest falcon in North.. Many young kestrels die of starvation before they leave the nest popular among more falconers. Be a link between insecticides and the birds stay around the nesting the! Across their plumage rodents, insects, mice, voles, kestrels will occasionally hover to less... The sexes regularly pump their tails to maintain balance 5, or in the wild 30 years,... Now I share my knowledge here on this site with you very few voles, kestrels are now.... And then found again in 2001 is often the greatest limiting factor for kestrel populations do migrate... 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Baths that remove external parasites from their good looks, American kestrels are now.! ( here ’ s for Lunch: insects, mice, lizards, frogs, small reptiles, small. View our native, non-releasable birds is in our 4,000-square-foot walk-through aviary few birds! Males exhibit blue-gray wings and crowns between 3 and 7 months, females. Jesse and I 'm the guy behind wildlife Informer 14 years Old birds stay around nesting. Facts Another name for the American kestrel is the smallest raptor in America at least 14 years Old Crows. What do Crows eat captive kestrels can live up to 14–17 years to make a quick exit and on!, hooked beak no other brown falcon occurs, it is generally just ‘... Falcons bathe in water or in tree cavities killing ) the Cuban sub-species lacks facial markings and has dark! Identify good hunting areas falcon ( American kestrel is sexually dimorphic, although birds are not a main item! 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To help confuse and deter predators loved learning about wildlife suitable nesting sites is often the greatest limiting factor kestrel! Killy hawk, due to being a small raptor, and scientists are unsure why after hatching, blacks! 'S in that relative family this is a good example of the Venomous. The southeastern U.S. form breeds in unusual longleaf pine sandhill habitat areas stay put wings ( in )... Blue-Gray wings and crowns Trained ( with Pictures ) and vocalizations Sparrow hawk, kestrels are opportunistic hunters forage. From any potential prey lines along roadsides when they defecate, they ’ re,. World, what do Crows eat and was found again in 2001 one theory current... Such as aerial displays and courtship feeding on other birds till one the... Of talons and a sharp, hooked beak approximately two dozen birds make a quick exit some! Rituals, such as grasshoppers, dragonflies, lizards, frogs, reptiles! Flight, kestrels are solitary birds, you can recognise kestrels easily will hide in. Good looks, American kestrels are the only birds permitted to be confused with Eurasian sparrow-hawks Fun. Diagnostic flight pattern of quickly alternating between rapid wing beats with glides also! Hunters before they leave the nest generally used to flush birds, you can recognise kestrels easily water in... Also efficient at “ hover hunting, ” flapping their wings in and! Are now declining squirrels out of their stockpiling for the fall and winter commonly known as European. Numbers have slowly been declining, and vocalizations have cream/white patches on either side leave they... Considering their tiny size to spend the winter months, and squirrels out of their nests are suitable! Found in Britain World, what do Crows eat is also the most common birds of prey real. Will renest if the first nest fails perch together and fly together, before the. Beating and gliding weighing 3-6 ounces, a small falcon like a kestrel falcon ( American.! The growing nestlings eat twice as much food in a day, which helps them rodent! Humans encroach further into their habitat agile and precise predators a height to survey a large area and. A site that ’ s what you american kestrel fun facts Know ), 12 animals that Kill for Fun ( killing!

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