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April 26-28, 2019
REGISTRATION OPENS February 14, 2019

Tours & Events

    • Friday, April 26, 2019
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    Chasing Rare & Endangered Ones

    Endangered Ones Trip

    This tour will span the refuge in search of the rare and endangered ones. Experts on the species will take you to shady, relatively moist woodlands of oak and juniper to listen and look for Golden-cheeked Warblers. At the other end of the refuge, we will listen for the raspy songs of Black-capped Vireos in and around thickets of scrubby oaks, sumacs, and greenbriars. Along the way we hope to spot other Hill Country birds.

    Targets: Golden-cheeked Warbler, Black-capped Vireo

    van from HQ 30 Min 1way Easy to Moderate between locations *stop between locations
    FRIENDS OF BALCONES CANYONLANDS NWR(FOB)
    The mission of the Friends organization is to support, complete, and enhance the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge and its diverse ecology and promote its use for recreational, educational, and scientific purposes.

    BEXAR AUDUBON SOCIETY (BAS)
    To provide environmental news and education to the community, including the Website, programs, San Antonio Natural Areas Second Saturday programs, and other activities.


    • Friday, April 26, 2019
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 7
    Register

    Chasing Rare & Endangered Ones

    Endangered Ones Trip

    This tour will span the refuge in search of its rare and endangered songbirds. Experts on the species will take you to shady, relatively moist woodlands of oak and juniper to listen and look for Golden-cheeked Warblers. At the other end of the refuge, we will listen for the raspy songs of Black-capped Vireos in and around thickets of scrubby oaks, sumacs, and greenbriars. Along the way we hope to spot other Hill Country birds.

    Targets: Golden-cheeked Warbler, Black-capped Vireo

    van from HQ 30 Min 1way Easy to Moderate between locations *stop between locations
    AMERICAN BIRD CONSERVANCY(ABC)
    ABC's mission is to conserve native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. Our commitment to bird conservation remains absolute, even while some other groups shift their mission to prioritize people over wildlife. We believe unequivocally that conserving birds and their habitats benefits all other species — including people.

    WILLIAMSON AUDUBON GROUP(WAG)
    Williamson Audubon Group promotes the appreciation of birds by sharing knowledge and experience.

    • Friday, April 26, 2019
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    Hill Country Birding

    Hill Country Birding Trip

    Join top Texas birders to look for special Hill Country birds that nest on the Refuge. This tour makes multiple stops along one of the quietest, birdiest country roads in western Travis County, and then brief stops at Doeskin, Flying X and Simons Tract, affording participants the opportunity to see and hear many of the breeding and spring migrant birds of the eastern edge of the Edwards Plateau. The trip leader is intimately familiar with these birds and their vocalizations, and will strive to get scope views for all participants of most of the target birds on the route. We do not specifically target Golden-cheeked Warbler, but occasionally encounter them on this route. In addition to the targets mentioned below, we also often see spring migrants including raptors, flycatchers, and various smaller birds.

    Targets: Wild Turkey, Cave Swallow, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Summer Tanager, Painted Bunting, Blue Grosbeak, Bell's Vireo, Blue-headed Vireo (migrant, but singing), Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow and occasionally Vermilion Flycatcher, Canyon Towhee and Black-throated Sparrow.
    van from HQ 30 Min 1way Easy to Moderate Flying X



    TRAVIS AUDUBON SOCIETY(TAS)
    Travis Audubon was founded in 1952 by visionary central Texans who recognized the vital connection between conserving wildlife habitat and the ecological balance necessary for healthy, sustainable and habitable human communities.

    • Friday, April 26, 2019
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 7
    Register

    Birding Springs & Plateau's


    Join us as we bird the springs and plateau's of the Hill Country. With a variety of habitats and breeding Golden-cheeked Warblers and Black-capped Vireos on the property, we expect a great list of birds! In addition to the two endangered songbirds, Northern Bobwhite, Cooper's Hawk, Greater Roadrunner, Crested Caracara, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Loggerhead Shrike, Western Scrub-Jay, Verdin, Canyon Wren, migrating warblers, a variety of sparrows, Blue Grosbeak and Painted Bunting are possible. The field trip will include walking on uneven, rocky roads and trails.

    Destinations: Peaceful Springs

    van from HQ 30 Min 1way Easy to Moderate Flying X


    FRIENDS OF BALCONES CANYONLANDS NWR(FOB)
    The mission of the Friends organization is to support, complete, and enhance the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge and its diverse ecology and promote its use for recreational, educational, and scientific purposes.

    • Friday, April 26, 2019
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 9
    Register

    Avian Photo Capture, Getting Started

    This birding photography course is all about having fun while in nature, looking for an intimate experience with birds acting natural, and capturing it as an image for lasting memories. As a introductory course we will start on the technical side, having a discussion on the 3 controlling elements of light capture along with other camera settings, and ancillary equipment. We will move on to discussing kinds of birding shots and think about anticipating a bird’s actions to obtain a desired pic. We will then finish up, with a focus on composition and photographing perspective to capture best aesthetic shot.

    Targets: Golden-cheeked Warbler, Black-capped Vireo

    van from HQ 30 Min 1way Easy to Moderate between locations *stop between locations
    FRIENDS OF BALCONES CANYONLANDS NWR(FOB)
    The mission of the Friends organization is to support, complete, and enhance the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge and its diverse ecology and promote its use for recreational, educational, and scientific purposes.

    • Friday, April 26, 2019
    • 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters

      Friday Talk with Jane Tillman

    Learn the secrets from an expert. Jane is the Field Trip Committee Chair for the Travis Audubon Society so she knows his way around the local birding sites.

    Join us at the Meet & Greet afterwards


    • Friday, April 26, 2019
    • 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
    • 18608 FM 1431, Jonestown, Texas 78645

    Join us for a Meet & Greet at Quetzal Tex-Mex after the events at the Refuge.

    10% off food and drink.

    No pre-registration required.


     

    • Saturday, April 27, 2019
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 2
    Register

    Chasing Rare & Endangered Ones

    Endangered Ones Trip

    This tour will span the refuge in search of its rare and endangered songbirds. Experts on the species will take you to shady, relatively moist woodlands of oak and juniper to listen and look for Golden-cheeked Warblers. At the other end of the refuge, we will listen for the raspy songs of Black-capped Vireos in and around thickets of scrubby oaks, sumacs, and greenbriars. Along the way we hope to spot other Hill Country birds.

    Targets: Golden-cheeked Warbler, Black-capped Vireo

    van from HQ 30 Min 1way Easy to Moderate between locations *stop between locations
    TRAVIS AUDUBON SOCIETY(TAS)
    Travis Audubon was founded in 1952 by visionary central Texans who recognized the vital connection between conserving wildlife habitat and the ecological balance necessary for healthy, sustainable and habitable human communities.

    • Saturday, April 27, 2019
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    Chasing Rare & Endangered Ones

    Endangered Ones Trip

    This tour will span the refuge in search of its two rare and endangered songbirds. Experts on the species will take you to shady, relatively moist woodlands of oak and juniper to listen and look for Golden-cheeked Warblers. At the other end of the refuge, we will listen for the raspy songs of Black-capped Vireos in and around thickets of scrubby oaks, sumacs, and greenbriars. Along the way we hope to spot other Hill Country birds.

    Targets: Golden-cheeked Warbler, Black-capped Vireo

    van from HQ 30 Min 1way Easy to Moderate between locations *stop between locations
    AUSTIN WATER (BCP)

    The Balcones Canyonlands Preserve (BCP) is not one single tract of land but a system of preserves that exists as a multi-agency conservation effort operating under a regional 10(a) permit issued under the Endangered Species Act by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFW).

    The permit was issued jointly to the BCP's two managing partners, the City of Austin and Travis County, in 1996, though several other organizations own and manage land dedicated to the BCP. Ultimately, the goal is to set aside 30,428 acres in western Travis County as habitat for eight endangered species-two neotropical migratory songbirds and six karst invertebrates-and 27 species of concern.


    • Saturday, April 27, 2019
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 3
    Register

    Hill Country Birding

    Hill Country Birding Trip

    Join top Texas birders to look for special Hill Country birds that nest on the Refuge. This tour makes multiple stops along one of the quietest, birdiest country roads in western Travis County, and then brief stops at Doeskin, Flying X and Simons Tract, affording participants the opportunity to see and hear many of the breeding and spring migrant birds of the eastern edge of the Edwards Plateau. The trip leader is intimately familiar with these birds and their vocalizations, and will strive to get scope views for all participants of most of the target birds on the route. We do not specifically target Golden-cheeked Warbler, but occasionally encounter them on this route. In addition to the targets mentioned below, we also often see spring migrants including raptors, flycatchers, and various smaller birds.

    Targets: Wild Turkey, Cave Swallow, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Summer Tanager, Painted Bunting, Blue Grosbeak, Bell's Vireo, Blue-headed Vireo (migrant, but singing), Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow and occasionally Vermilion Flycatcher, Canyon Towhee and Black-throated Sparrow.
    van from HQ 30 Min 1way Easy to Moderate Flying X
    U.S.FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE(USFWS)
    Native wildlife and plant species are a top management priority for the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge strives to protect, restore and enhance habitat for the benefit of all native species, endangered or otherwise.

    • Saturday, April 27, 2019
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 2
    Register

    Hill Country Birding

    Hill Country Birding Trip

    Join top Texas birders to look for special Hill Country birds that nest on the Refuge. This tour makes multiple stops along one of the quietest, birdiest country roads in western Travis County, and then brief stops at Doeskin, Flying X and Simons Tract, affording participants the opportunity to see and hear many of the breeding and spring migrant birds of the eastern edge of the Edwards Plateau. The trip leader is intimately familiar with these birds and their vocalizations, and will strive to get scope views for all participants of most of the target birds on the route. We do not specifically target Golden-cheeked Warbler, but occasionally encounter them on this route. In addition to the targets mentioned below, we also often see spring migrants including raptors, flycatchers, and various smaller birds.

    Targets: Wild Turkey, Cave Swallow, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Summer Tanager, Painted Bunting, Blue Grosbeak, Bell's Vireo, Blue-headed Vireo (migrant, but singing), Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow and occasionally Vermilion Flycatcher, Canyon Towhee and Black-throated Sparrow.
    van from HQ 30 Min 1way Easy to Moderate Flying X


    TEXAS ORNITHOLOGICAL SOCIETY(TOS)
    The Texas Ornithological Society (TOS) was founded in 1953 as a nonprofit organization. The purpose of the Society is to promote the discovery and dissemination of knowledge of birds; to encourage specifically the observation, study and conservation of birds in Texas; to encourage the formation of local birding clubs; and to stimulate cooperation among professional ornithologists.

    • Saturday, April 27, 2019
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 3
    Register

    Birding Springs & Plateau's

    Join us as we bird springs and plateau's of the Hill Country. With a variety of habitats and breeding Golden-cheeked Warblers and Black-capped Vireos on the property, we expect a great list of birds! In addition to the two endangered songbirds, Northern Bobwhite, Cooper's Hawk, Greater Roadrunner, Crested Caracara, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Loggerhead Shrike, Western Scrub-Jay, Verdin, Canyon Wren, migrating warblers, a variety of sparrows, Blue Grosbeak and Painted Bunting are possible. The field trip will include walking on uneven, rocky roads and trails.

    Destinations: Peaceful Springs

    van from HQ 30 Min 1way Easy to Moderate Flying X
    TEXAS ORNITHOLOGICAL SOCIETY(TOS)
    The Texas Ornithological Society (TOS) was founded in 1953 as a nonprofit organization. The purpose of the Society is to promote the discovery and dissemination of knowledge of birds; to encourage specifically the observation, study and conservation of birds in Texas; to encourage the formation of local birding clubs; and to stimulate cooperation among professional ornithologists.

    • Saturday, April 27, 2019
    • 8:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 29
    Register

    Bird on a Wire

    Hill Country Birding Trip

    Did you ever wonder why some birds sit on a wire and others stay hidden in the foliage? Come spend a few hours at the Refuge Headquarters and watch birds come and go and interact with each other. You will learn some of their more common behaviors and why biologists believe they do them. Chairs, binoculars, and bird books will be provided for participants. You can enjoy birding and learn bird trivia in a relaxed atmosphere. Some of their behaviors may even help you identify them. All skill levels are welcome and this “trip” is handicap accessible.

    Targets: Inca Dove, Chimney Swift, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Purple Martin, Barn Swallow, Eastern Bluebird, Field Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, Summer Tanager, Painted Bunting, Lesser Goldfinch
    HQPhoto Opportunity
    TRAVIS AUDUBON SOCIETY(TAS)
    Travis Audubon was founded in 1952 by visionary central Texans who recognized the vital connection between conserving wildlife habitat and the ecological balance necessary for healthy, sustainable and habitable human communities.

    • Saturday, April 27, 2019
    • 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters

      Saturday Lunch Talk with Dennis Palafox

    STAY FOR LUNCH!

    Learn the secrets from an expert. Dennis is the Field Trip Committee Chair for the Travis Audubon Society so he knows his way around the local birding sites.

    You can brown bag it or reserve a Texas BBQ 

    • Saturday, April 27, 2019
    • 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
    Register

    Pre-order lunch on Saturday and attend the Lunch talk on local birding areas.

    BBQ Turkey, Pork, or Beef Sausage Wrap

    INCLUDES

    Dills and Pepperoncini, sauces and such

    Chips and Salsa

    Potato Salad

    Sweet Dessert

    Iced Tea, Lemonade, Water



     

    • Sunday, April 28, 2019
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    Birding Balcones by Sight & Sound

    Hill Country Birding Trip

    Want a unique experience to improve your birding skills by learning bird songs?  According to the following description written by one of Jeff’s previous tour participants, this tour is for you! Seeing birds while they sing is a great learning experience.

    "Pull over, I just heard our bird."  What? Within 30 seconds the bird we were searching for is perched atop a bush, singing away. "How'd you do that?" I asked incredulously. "Well, he told me!" One of the great experiences of birding is to be able to identify birds before you even see them!  Yes, it's challenging, but so much fun, and the satisfaction is enormous.  

    Wherever there are birds, there are bird songs! Bird songs and other vocalizations provide a wealth of information that birders can use to quickly identify familiar birds, distinguish between closely related species, and perhaps decipher some of the more complex communications that go on between birds. Jeff Patterson can get you started in quickly identifying many of the birds of central Texas.

    Jeff’s tour alternates between brief discussions of birdsong, and listening to (and yes seeing) the springtime birds that vocalize at the refuge, while taking a hike through the beautiful landscape behind Refuge Headquarters. You will be a better birder after just one class, honest!

    CLASSROOM & FIELD TRIP

    Targets: Painted Bunting, Blue Grosbeak, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Purple Martin, White-eyed Vireo, Summer Tanager, Eastern Phoebe, Blue-grey Gnatcatcher, Carolina Chickadee, Black-crested Titmouse, Carolina Wren, Bewick’s Wren, Northern Cardinal, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow and (possibly) Golden-cheeked Warbler.


    Easy to Moderate HQ



    TRAVIS AUDUBON SOCIETY(TAS)
    Travis Audubon was founded in 1952 by visionary central Texans who recognized the vital connection between conserving wildlife habitat and the ecological balance necessary for healthy, sustainable and habitable human communities.


    • Sunday, April 28, 2019
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 7
    Register

    Chasing Rare & Endangered Ones

    Endangered Ones Trip

    This tour will span the refuge in search of its two endangered songbirds. Experts on the species will take you to shady, relatively moist woodlands of oak and juniper to listen and look for Golden-cheeked Warblers. At the other end of the refuge, we will listen for the raspy songs of Black-capped Vireos in and around thickets of scrubby oaks, sumacs, and greenbriars. Along the way we hope to spot other Hill Country birds.

    Targets: Golden-cheeked Warbler, Black-capped Vireo

    van from HQ 30 Min 1way Easy to Moderate between locations *stop between locations


    AMERICAN BIRD CONSERVANCY(ABC)
    ABC's mission is to conserve native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. Our commitment to bird conservation remains absolute, even while some other groups shift their mission to prioritize people over wildlife. We believe unequivocally that conserving birds and their habitats benefits all other species — including people.

    • Sunday, April 28, 2019
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 8
    Register

    Hill Country Birding

    Hill Country Birding Trip

    Join top Texas birders to look for special Hill Country birds that nest on the Refuge. This tour makes multiple stops along one of the quietest, birdiest country roads in western Travis County, and then brief stops at Doeskin, Flying X and Simons Tract, affording participants the opportunity to see and hear many of the breeding and spring migrant birds of the eastern edge of the Edwards Plateau. The trip leader is intimately familiar with these birds and their vocalizations, and will strive to get scope views for all participants.

    Targets: Wild Turkey, Cave Swallow, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Summer Tanager, Painted Bunting, Blue Grosbeak, Bell's Vireo, Blue-headed Vireo (migrant, but singing), Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow and occasionally Vermilion Flycatcher, Canyon Towhee and Black-throated Sparrow.cipants of most of the target birds on the route. We do not specifically target Golden-cheeked Warbler, but occasionally encounter them on this route. In addition to the targets mentioned below, we also often see spring migrants including raptors, flycatchers, and various smaller birds.

    van from HQ 30 Min 1way Easy to Moderate Flying X
    TEXAS ORNITHOLOGICAL SOCIETY(TOS)
    The Texas Ornithological Society (TOS) was founded in 1953 as a nonprofit organization. The purpose of the Society is to promote the discovery and dissemination of knowledge of birds; to encourage specifically the observation, study and conservation of birds in Texas; to encourage the formation of local birding clubs; and to stimulate cooperation among professional ornithologists.
    • Sunday, April 28, 2019
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 6
    Register

    Birding Springs & Plateau's


    Join us as we bird springs and plateau's of the Hill Country. With a variety of habitats and breeding Golden-cheeked Warblers and Black-capped Vireos on the property, we expect a great list of birds! In addition to the two endangered songbirds, Northern Bobwhite, Cooper's Hawk, Greater Roadrunner, Crested Caracara, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Loggerhead Shrike, Western Scrub-Jay, Verdin, Canyon Wren, migrating warblers, a variety of sparrows, Blue Grosbeak and Painted Bunting are possible. The field trip will include walking on uneven, rocky roads and trails.

    Destinations: Peaceful Springs

    van from HQ 30 Min 1way Easy to Moderate Flying X


    TRAVIS AUDUBON SOCIETY(TAS)
    Travis Audubon was founded in 1952 by visionary central Texans who recognized the vital connection between conserving wildlife habitat and the ecological balance necessary for healthy, sustainable and habitable human communities.

    • Sunday, April 28, 2019
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    Leaders Choice

    Leaders Choice Trip

    We’re leaving this trip intentionally vague so we can be flexible. Your leaders will be monitoring the birds seen throughout the festival and will use that information to determine the location for this trip. We may decide to try to re-find rarities or we may decide to go birding in one of our favorite Refuge tracts. Wherever we end up, you can expect to see some great Hill Country birds and have a great time. If you’re the type person who likes surprises or likes to go with the flow, this is the tour for you!

     van from HQ 30 Min 1way Moderate to Strenuous



    TRAVIS AUDUBON SOCIETY(TAS)
    Travis Audubon was founded in 1952 by visionary central Texans who recognized the vital connection between conserving wildlife habitat and the ecological balance necessary for healthy, sustainable and habitable human communities.


    • Sunday, April 28, 2019
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 11
    Register

    Birding by Fire

    This trip will explore areas on the refuge where biologists have implemented large-scale experiments to learn best practices for habitat management. One area includes a 30-acre white-tailed deer exclosure, where scientists have studied the combined effects of fire and deer herbivory on native woody species. This area will have common woodland species such as golden-cheeked warblers, black-and-white warblers, and summer tanagers. Another area we will visit is a grassland that has been burned at different seasons during the year to determine if conducting prescribed burns at certain times of the year may selectively favor native grasses over invasive King Ranch bluestem. Here we will listen for northern bobwhites and other grassland birds and dig into how this research is one key to the conservation of these species.greenbriars. Along the way we hope to spot other Hill Country birds.

    van from HQ 30 Min 1way Easy to Moderate between locations *stop between locations


    U.S.FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE(USFWS)
    Native wildlife and plant species are a top management priority for the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge strives to protect, restore and enhance habitat for the benefit of all native species, endangered or otherwise.

Got questions?
call 512-466-6813.
It is a message center and may be forwarded to a live person so even if the voice recording does not mention the Festival, leave a message. You can also email us at 
friends@friendsofbalcones.org

Tips on using the registration module

  • It is possible to register multiple participants for individual field trips or events.
  • It is possible to register for multiple field trips/events under one transaction. AND even join as a member.
  • You can pay by PayPal, credit card or check (MANUAL) using online registration. However, if paying by check, your registration will not be confirmed until payment is received. Many of these field trips do sell out.
  • If you would like to be placed on a waiting list, use the waitlist option.

SCHEDULING UPDATES
Once tours are confirmed, we will do our very best to minimize changes, however, the schedule and tour leads are subject to change. You will be notified of updates as soon as they become available.
WEATHER POLICY
There are no guarantees with respect to Hill Country weather. WE WILL SEND TOURS OUT REGARDLESS OF RAIN OR TEMPERATURE. Some may be delayed but we will keep the tours within the same day of the event. Call 512-466-6813 for an update, but be prepared to leave on schedule.
THE LEGAL DEPARTMENT
The Refuge is an unimproved, semi-wilderness state. By submitting your registration, you assume full responsibility for all loss, damages, harm, or expenses incurred by you.
CANCELLATION
You may cancel up until April 6, 2019 and get a refund. Your electronic refund may take up to 5 business days, checks may take longer.  After April 6, 2019 there will be no refunds.

Email- friends@friendsofbalcones.org

Mail- Friends of Balcones

  PO Box 4678

Lago Vista TX 78645

2018 © Friends of Balcones Canyonlands NWR

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