Connecticut Audbon Society


EcoTravel Overnight Trips

Young Family Foundation Grant Helps EcoTravel Provide Binoculars and Field Guides to Students in Cuba

EcoTravel Director Andy Griswold delivered a suitcase full of binoculars and field guides for young birders during a recent EcoTravel visit to Cuba, thanks to a gift from the William C. Young Family Foundation. Read about it here.


Favorite Tours

Macaw - Ben Lunsford

Amazing Amazon Cruises
Year-round Departures.     Seven Days!
Our most popular cruise explores some of the most untouched rainforest in all of Amazonia. On an eight-cabin expedition vessel, travelers venture far up some of the least inhabited rivers in the Amazon Basin for a full seven days and explore areas rarely visited, seeking out the mysterious life in the heart of the Amazon. This is the most thorough, detailed, and sophisticated trip offered in the entire Amazon and comes with rave reviews from past participants. Guides are accomplished local naturalists. This is a trip of a lifetime, easy for seniors and families! Fee starts at $3,795 per person. Extensions are available to Iguacu Falls, Machu Picchu, Pantanal, Galapagos, and Ecuadorian Highlands. Call for details.

Galapagos Cruise: Islands of Discovery
Year-round Departures.
Galapagos, a remote archipelago where life goes on much as it has for millions of years, is the world’s greatest living laboratory for study and observation of nature. Here the animals have no fear of humans, and you can be at one with nature as nowhere else on Earth. Over centuries, animal and plant life reached the islands and gradually evolved into new life forms. Opportunities for photography are unparalleled, with sea lions, iguanas, and penguins in arm’s reach. Cabins available from $4,700 per person. Ecuadorian Highland, Machu Picchu, and Quito extensions available. Don’t miss out on this tremendous learning experience in the “Enchanted Islands.” Call or email for more detail. Call for details.
Panama’s Canopy Tower and Lodge
Year Round Departures.     Six to 21 Days!
For many years, this tiny country roughly the size of South Carolina was known only for the “Engineering Wonder of the World” that connects the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, the Panama Canal. More and more people, however, are starting to discover the vast natural and cultural wonders that Panama offers, including Caribbean coral reefs, Pacific mangrove wetlands, dry tropical forests, wet rainforests, and mountain cloud forests. These tropical ecosystems harbor an incredible diversity of colorful flowers and plants and a wide array of wild animals like sloths, anteaters, monkeys, and more. There are about 960 different species of birds—far more than the total number of species found in the U.S. and Canada combined! Panama presents excellent opportunities to see wildlife and learn about the importance of tropical environments. Six day packages start at $1,299. The 21-day package starts at $4,619. Call for details on these packages and others, and for exact departure dates. Not to be missed!  Call for details.

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Connecticut Audubon Society EcoTravel has a great selection of tours that visit many exciting spots close to home and around the globe. All of our tours promise to be special adventures, giving you the opportunity to enjoy some of the most beautiful animals and habitats in the world. The Connecticut Audubon Society strives to be at the forefront of environmental education, and our EcoTravel program plays a strong part in that goal. If our dates or tours do not meet your needs, we can provide you with the itineraries of other natural history travel companies. If you choose one of their programs and sign-up through us, we will earn commissions which support Connecticut Audubon Society’s education programs. It costs you nothing extra and helps us immensely.

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For Detailed Itineraries of our Overnight Tours, please contact us at:
Connecticut Audubon Society EcoTravel
PO Box 903
Essex, CT 06426

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Overnight International Tour Listing

Extraordinary Ethiopia
January 17 – February 1, 2020     16 Days!
Venture off the beaten path and explore one of Africa’s most fascinating and least visited destinations. Medieval castles, churches hewn out of solid rock, ancient temples, and nine UNESCO World Heritage sites (more than any other African country)! Ethiopia is the perfect destination for travelers of all ages. At the crossroad of ancient trade routes and one of the world’s oldest nations, amazingly Ethiopia was never colonized. Unique cultures, natural beauty, amazing history, wonderful people; there are many reasons to visit Ethiopia. “In terms of the sheer variety of fascinating destinations, no other place in Africa compares to Ethiopia.” – Graham Hancock, African Ark. Leader: Lucretia Bingham . Fee: $6,098. With member discount: $5,398.

Antarctic Explorer
February 5 – 17, 2020     13 Days!
Antarctica has been inspiring explorers for centuries and this expedition offers you the chance to discover why, with an unforgettable journey through the spectacular wilderness of the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula. You’ll encounter a world where nature creates the rules, her unpredictable temperament making each trip unique, exciting, and personal. Imagine cruising in a Zodiac through crackling sea ice like shattered glass, witnessing penguins building their nests, or navigating through a maze of icebergs, each one uniquely shaped by its journey through the sea. You’ll enjoy iconic Antarctic highlights, exhilarating adventures, and be rewarded with memories to last a lifetime. Escort: Nick Bonomo. Please, call for the detailed itinerary and pricing.

Galapagos Cruise: Islands of Discovery
February 6 – 15, 2020     Ten Days!
Galapagos, a remote archipelago where life goes on much as it has for millions of years, is the world’s greatest living laboratory for study and observation of nature. Here the animals have no fear of humans, and you can be at one with nature as nowhere else on Earth. Over centuries, animal and plant life reached the islands and gradually evolved into new forms. Opportunities for photography are unparalleled, with sea lions, iguanas, and penguins within arm’s reach. Ecuadorian Highland and Quito extensions available. Don’t miss out on this tremendous learning experience in the “Enchanted Islands.” Call or email for more detail. Leader: Miley Bull. Year round departures available.

Grand Safari: Namibia, Botswana, and Zambia
February 20 – March 5, 2020     15 Days!
This wonderful itinerary offers some of the best birding in southern Africa. Cover most of central Namibia and discover endemic and near-endemic birds. Explore the Riverine Forest and Miombo Woodland as well as visit mighty Victoria Falls. Cross over into the Caprivi Strip of Namibia in search of the Okavango Delta specialties, including the magnificent Pel’s Fishing-Owl. We’ll spend a couple of days in Etosha National Park enjoying the great bird and game viewing that this preserve offers. Travel along the western escarpment before concluding the adventure along the coast. Leader: TBD. Fee: $6,598.  With member discount: $5,898.

Wild Costa Rica
February 24 – 8 March 2020     14 Days!
With a greater biodiversity than the continental United States and Canada combined, Costa Rica is world-renowned for its birdwatching opportunities. Visit some of the best-known birding locations in search of enigmatic species such as Resplendent Quetzal and Scarlet Macaw, as well as less-visited destinations that hold breathtaking beauty and rare species. Leader: Matt Bell. Fee: $6,798. With member discount: $5,998.

Vietnam: Birds, Culture, and Landscapes
February/March 2020     14 Days!
Home to over 850 species of birds and over 300 species of mammals, including some of the world’s rarest primates, and stretching a thousand miles down the east coast of Southeast Asia, Vietnam encompasses an amazing array habitats and biodiversity. From spectacular Halong Bay, to rhododendron covered peaks rising above 9,000 feet, to lush rainforests and the mighty Mekong River Delta, this ancient land offers a unique cultural and ecotourism experience. Beginning in Hanoi and traveling from North to South, with visits to Cut Phuong, Phong Nha-Ke Bang, Bach-Ma, and Cat Tien National Parks, as well as the ancient Imperial City of Hue, our tour will conclude in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Extension to Cambodia’s Angkor Wat. Leader: Rob Taylor. Call for details.

Cuba: Landscapes, Culture, and Birds
March 2 – 12, 2020     11 Days!
Travel in a small group with local guides through less traveled parts of Cuba, the Caribbean’s largest and most ecologically diverse island nation, home to 26 endemic birds: the world’s smallest, the Bee Hummingbird; one of the rarest woodpeckers, Fernandina’s Flicker; and the elusive Blue-headed Quail-Dove. While there will be daily opportunities for birding , our focus expands to include a range of Cuban fauna and flora, and the ecology and history of regions we visit. Enjoy opportunities to swim and snorkel. Our Cuban guide will answer your questions and offer explanations that reflect Cuban history, politics, and topics related to daily living. The program begins in Havana and ends with a full day in this unrivaled colonial city of the Americas, which abounds with historic sites, diverse architecture, museums, and art galleries, underscoring a cultural heritage and recently resurgent energy and verve that are uniquely Cuban. Leader: Miley Bull. Fee: $5,698.  With member discount: $4,998.

Italy: Bird Migration and Culture
May 12 23, 2020     12 Days!
Explore the stunning landscapes and historical locations that have stood the tests of time as we explore the famous Tuscany region while traveling from Florence to Rome. Discover dense forests, gaze over vast meadows, and relax in the presence of waterfalls and icy lakes as we visit national parks and UNESCO biodiversity hotspots. While exploring the many unique Mediterranean habitats, keep an eye out for the diverse wildlife, flora, and of course, birds! Time will be spent both enjoying nature and exploring the local towns with their extensive history, some even dating back to the Etruscans. Birds may include Great Spotted Cuckoo, White-throated Dipper, and Firecrest. Leader: Chris Nevins. Fee: $5,598. With member discount: $4,898.

Cornwall, England: Hiking Tour of the Coast
May 14 24,  2020     11 Days!
Immerse yourself in maritime heath-lands, tropical valleys, moors, history, and legends. Connect with nature along coastal paths, beaches, and lanes bordered by carpets of brilliant pastel spring flowers or summer heathers in fields stitched together with hedgerows. Enjoy the quiet, the clean air, and the fresh scents as we explore this land of Daphne De Maurier, Doc Martin, and Poldark on daily hikes near the cliffs and in the countryside. Our native naturalist/guide knows the flora and fauna, geology, significant historic sites, folklore, birds and wildlife, back roads, country tea houses, local gossip, and scenic villages off the beaten track. Leader: Rami Haxhi. Fee: $2,798. With member discount: $2,198.

Iceland: Land of Fire and Ice
June 8 18, 2020     11 Days!
Travelers visiting Iceland today follow in the steps of the mighty Vikings who first discovered the island in the ninth century. Whether you delight in vast untouched and uninhabited expanses of landscape or walking around town making friends, you’ll feel free in Iceland and enter a whole new realm of experience. You’ll discover original nature as you’ve never seen it before while visiting thousands of cliff-nesting birds and enjoying up-close encounters with whales. The freedom to roam the wilds as you please, to explore, and to have fun—these are the keys to the Iceland experience. Call for pricing and a detailed itinerary. Leader: Andy Griswold.

Ireland: Birds and Birdies
July 7 17, 2020     11 Days!
Join birder (and 10-handicapper), Andy Griswold to combine your two passions, birds and golf. Enjoy nine nights of accommodation with a full Irish breakfast each morning. Sightsee around Lakes of Killarney, birdwatch along the Dingle Peninsula, visit the Great Blasket Islands, and take in five rounds of links golf at a selection of the world’s finest courses. Meet one of the greenskeepers to hear about how they balance course maintenance with nature. Relax with luxury chauffeur-driven transport throughout while staying at great lodgings. Fee: $6,598. With member discount: $5,898. 

Norway’s Western Rivers, Fjords, and Islands
July 10 21, 2020     12 Days!
Similar in size to California, but with only 5 million people, Norway has plenty of open space to explore. Its unique fjords, mountains, and picturesque villages give this outdoor adventure paradise a unique character. Norway’s latitude, with part of the country located north of the Arctic circle, creates pronounced seasonal differences. Hike the Scandinavian landscapes, experience the Midnight Sun, visit the world-famous fjords at Aurland, and explore charming fishing villages. A cultural must see is the city of Oslo with its many museums, rich history, and numerous ways to experience Norway off the beaten path. Leader: Rami Haxhi. Fee: $5,598. With member discount: $4,998. 

Ireland: Hiking Wicklow Way
July 22 29, 2020     Eight Days!
The 80-mile-long Wicklow Way was Ireland’s first waymarked trail and, owing to its proximity to Dublin, has remained one of the most popular walking routes in Ireland. It was the brainchild of Dublin hillwalker J.B. Malone and opened in 1981. Containing many miles of wonderfully unspoiled mountain trails, Wicklow Way offers a wide variety of scenic experiences, some of them in truly remote upland areas. They include mountains, upland lakes, steep sided glacial valleys, fast flowing mountain streams, forests, and farmland. The trail passes many examples of historical human habitation, the most famous being the early Christian monastic settlement established by Saint Kevin in the beautiful Glendalough Valley. Here you will see Round Tower, almost 1,000 years old and built by the monks of the Glendalough Monastery. The trail is a pleasure to walk, well signposted, with rougher sections of the track graded to prevent erosion. The central section goes through the Wicklow Mountains National Park. Stay at wonderful bed-and-breakfast lodgings.  Leader: Rami Haxhi. Fee: $2,998. With member discount: $2,598. 

Nova Scotia’s National Parks
August 13 21, 2020     Nine Days!
From the spectacular tides of the Bay of Fundy to the rolling farmland to the heath-lands of Cape Breton, there is no better highlights tour! The tremendous number of shorebirds at this time of year is legendary, known for their incredible aerial ballet. Nights are at Canada’s government-owned four-star lodges. Cape Breton delights travelers with its high cliffs overlooking the North Atlantic and its quaint fishing villages. Leader: Andy Griswold. Fee: $4,698. With member discount: $3,998.


Overnight Domestic Tour Listing

Hawk Mountain Migration
October 18 – 21, 2019   Four Days!
This 2,200-acre sanctuary in eastern Pennsylvania is well known for its stupendous hawk migration, when fall brings an average of 24,000 birds of prey. If the winds are from the west or northwest, this spot can give you an experience to remember, with hundreds of birds right at eye level. Travelers stop at birding hotspots in search of shorebirds, waterfowl, and other birds of interest. Leader: Matt Bell. Fee: $1,198. With member discount: $998. Call for the detailed itinerary.

Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park
November 1 – 6, 2019     Six Days!
Explore the peaks of Tennessee’s breathtakingly beautiful Appalachian Mountains featuring spectacular waterfalls and endless vistas. Follow wooded trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, home to elk, black bear, and over 200 bird species. Immerse yourself in autumn colors as you hike through high-country meadowlands along the Appalachian Trail. Participants should be fit enough for all-day exploration and hiking over hilly terrain. The Great Smoky Mountains are perhaps the most imposing set of peaks in the East, showcasing large tracts of rugged, federally protected wilderness and old-growth forest of astounding biodiversity. The “smoky” name stems from the range’s ever-present mists. Leave the planning and driving to us as you enjoy this guided group hiking experience, with great accommodations and delicious food! Leader: Rami Haxhi. Fee: $2,198. With member discount: $1,798. Call for the detailed itinerary.

Sea Turtles and Cape Cod Exploration
December 6 – 8, 2019     Three Days!
In December, Cape Cod is a fabulous place to visit and explore as tourists are few and the region takes on a more relaxed feel. Unfortunately, at this time of year Kemp’s Ridley, Green, and Loggerhead sea turtles are often stunned by the cold water and end up stranded along the beaches. Participants learn about these fragile marine reptiles at Massachusetts Audubon’s Wellfleet Sanctuary. We’ll scour the beaches of Cape Cod Bay for turtles, take part in numerous nature-related activities, and be magically absorbed into the wildness of grass-topped dunes, empty beaches, and ceaseless crashing waves. Expect the rare and unusual. Leader: Jim Sherwonit. Fee: $898. With member discount: $698.

Arkansas’s Rice Fields and Bayous
January 12– 19, 2020     Eight Days!
Join our eleventh exciting expedition into a mature southern woodland that once hosted the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, and perhaps still does! Enjoy the private lodge while experiencing the history and tales of the elusive “Grail Bird.” This tour is by special arrangement in an area that is not open to the public. Henslow’s Sparrow, Red-cockaded Woodpecker, and clouds of waterfowl in the heart of America’s rice belt! Fee: $2,395. With member discount: $1,998. Leaders: Andy Griswold and Jim Denham.

Montauk Escape
February 7 – 9, 2020     Three Days!
The town of Montauk, on the far eastern tip of Long Island, is one of the best winter birding spots. The open ocean and the harbor provide opportunities to see many winter waterfowl not so commonly found in Connecticut. Eiders, all three scoter species, gulls, alcids, grebes, loons, and other winter specialties are among the many birds one can expect. Enjoy the quiet of an off-season resort town and the fresh air of winter beaches. Leader: Andy Griswold. Fee: $898. With member discount: $698.  

Florida’s Everglades, Keys, and Dry Tortugas
March 19 – 26, 2020     Eight Days!
One of North America’s “Top-Ten Birding Spots,” South Florida hosts a large number of unusual birds and other wildlife that are found nowhere else. Visit unique and sensitive habitats, including such well-known places as Big Cypress, Loxahatchee, Shark Valley, Anhinga Trail, Key West, and the famed Dry Tortugas. Bird species include the federally endangered Snail Kite, Short-tailed Hawk, Masked Booby, Brown Noddy, federally threatened Florida Scrub-Jay, and Sooty Tern. Witness first-hand how special a place the Everglades truly is! Leader: Andy Griswold. Fee: $4,198. With member discount: $3,698.

Nebraska’s Crane Migration
March 22 – 27, 2020     Six Days!
Nearly half a million Sandhill Cranes descend upon the broad valley of the Platte River, and by March approximately 80 percent of the world’s Lesser Sandhill Cranes crowd a 150-mile stretch of the river in the largest gathering of cranes anywhere in the world! We may even find a few of their rare and elegant cousins, the federally endangered Whooping Crane. Witness one of North America’s greatest wildlife spectacles! Leader: Jim Sherwonit. Fee: $2,695. With member discount: $2,295

Nantucket: Seasons in Transition
April 7 – 10, 2020     Four Days!
The birding starts the minute we board the ferry and gets better as we leave the mainland behind. Revel in the peace and quiet of an off-season resort, the inescapable sense of history, and the abundance of open space. Expect sea ducks, rare gulls, and spectacular Snowy Owls as we search the desolate beaches by four-wheel-drive vehicle. Take time to relax in the delightful teahouses and pubs in the heart of the historic town. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the experience of the island in early spring. We’ll be staying in a private house in the village of Siasconset. Leaders: Andy Griswold and island native Rich Newman. Fee: $1,598. With member discount: $1,298. No single supplements! 

Colorado’s Grouse and Prairie Chickens
April 14 – 24, 2020     11 Days!
Our tour is designed to allow time for birding the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains, the Colorado Plateau, and the marvelous leks of Colorado’s grasslands, emphasizing the western birds you seldom or never see on the East Coast. The tour provides the best opportunity to find each of the many target bird species, including Greater Sage-Grouse, Gunnison Sage-Grouse, Lesser Prairie-Chicken, Greater Prairie-Chicken, Dusky Grouse, White-tailed Ptarmigan, Three-toed Woodpecker, rosy-finches, and more. Each day is a total natural history experience! Leaders: Phil Rusch and second driver TBD. Fee: $5,485. With Member Discount: $4,885.

Migration Chase: Delmarva Peninsula
April 15 19, 2020     Five Days!
Venture to the Delmarva Peninsula, the piece of mainland sandwiched between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean that comprises all of DELaware, the eastern portion of MARyland (including the renowned “Eastern Shore” of Chesapeake Bay), and a disconnected sliver of VirginiA. After visiting key natural and historic areas, you will come away with a good feel for the land, its regional culture, and wild inhabitants. Explore varied habitats in search of birds as you scour the beaches, visit the vast marshland, and enjoy the first glimpses of spring. Enjoy first-hand Chesapeake foods, traditions, history, birds, and scenery. Destinations include Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge and Assateague National Seashore. Leader: Matt Bell. Fee: $1,598. With Member Discount: $1,298.

Texas: Coast, Valley, and Hills
April 27 – May 6, 2020     10 Days!
Join the guide team of Jay Hand and Andy Griswold  for a grand adventure in “The #l Bird State.” Three-quarters of all birds occurring in the continental United States have been recorded in Texas, where on this ten-day trip you can see over 250 species, including Green Kingfisher, Plain Chachalaca, Great Kiskadee, Green Jay, Tropical Parula, Golden-cheeked Warbler, and more. The scenery is fabulous, featuring vast open spaces unlike anything in the East. Visit famed High Island, Bolivar Flats, Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, King Ranch, Sabal Palm, Santa Ana, Bentsen, and the Edward’s Plateau. Jay and Andy are known for their expert knowledge of Texas birds. Fee: $3,898. With member discount: $3,498.

Warbler Extravaganza: Magee to Pelee
May 12 21, 2020     10 Days!
Magee Marsh, on the south shore of Lake Erie, is a prime stopover for North American warblers. Every spring thousands of birders and photographers flock to this location to witness the spectacle of large songbird concentrations preparing to migrate across the Great Lake. Point Pelee National Park, situated on Lake Erie’s north shore, is one of the most important migration highways in North America. It’s located within the true deciduous forest region commonly called Carolinian Forest, in Canada found only on a narrow belt along Lake Erie’s north shore, featuring plants and animals that are rare or absent elsewhere in Canada. The Point is perfectly situated as a migrant trap and in springtime can boast as many as 260 species, with a single-day high of 170! Trip via our luxury van from Connecticut. This is a perfect trip for birders of all levels! Leader: Matt Bell. Fee: $3,498. With member discount: $3,098. The tour is limited to seven participants.

Mount Auburn: Warbler Mecca
May 15 17, 2020     Three Days!
This is absolutely the best place on the east coast to see and hear large numbers of migrant warblers during the peak of spring migration! Birds are often at eye level, offering excellent views and photographic opportunities. Mt. Auburn, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was founded in 1831 by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society as a “garden cemetery,” a concept since copied by many communities across the country. The stupendous variety and scale of the trees alone is not to be missed, providing an oasis that birds find irresistible. Fee: $865. With member discount: $665. Migration at its best in a setting that is unrivaled! Leader: Jim Sherwonit.

Hunt for the Elusive Spruce Grouse
May 18 21, 2020     Four Days!
Enjoy an escape to clear mountain waters, lakes abundant with native trout, and the brightest star-filled nights you’ve ever seen—all in the beautiful woods of Maine. Visit the places where Frederick Church painted landscapes of Mount Katahdin. Get away and roam among the moose, carnivorous pitcher plants and sundew, orchids, and birds unique to this northern habitat. The big target is Spruce Grouse but should also include other hard-to-find species like Black-backed and American Three-toed woodpeckers. Leader: Andy Griswold. Fee: $1,198. With member discount: $998.

Connecticut Lakes
June 4 7, 2020     Four Days!
The Connecticut Lakes region is the pristine area at the northern tip of New Hampshire offering unlimited, unspoiled wilderness. This is the center of the North Country’s moose habitat where the Connecticut River is born. Birds may include Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker, Canada Jay, Mourning Warbler, and Boreal Chickadee. Stay at a peaceful lakeside lodge and hike to the headwaters, straddling the river where it begins its journey south. Leader: Jim Sherwonit. Fee: $1,198. With member discount: $998.

Southeastern Arizona Desert Bloom
July 22 30, 2020     Nine Days!
Late July welcomes the summer rains and is prime time for finding hummingbirds. As many as 15 species, including White-eared, Violet-crowned, Berylline, and Plain-capped Starthroat have been found on past trips. This is also the time for Mexican rarities, such as Aztec Thrush and the late breeding birds such as Varied Bunting and Botteri’s, Cassin’s and Rufous-winged sparrows. These are but a few of the many species we’ll search out as we journey through this lovely, varied landscape, which draws birders and naturalists from all over the world. Leaders: Jay Hand and Andy Griswold. Fee: $3,298. With member discount: $2,898.

Southern Utah’s National Parks
October  14 21, 2020     8 Days!
Witness first hand some of America’s amazing panoramas and breathtaking backdrops that you have always imagined. Visit the top national parks of the West, including Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Arches, to name a few. Zion holds some of the most rewarding adventures in all of Utah (if not the country), and Bryce is home to the world’s largest collection of hoodoos (odd-shaped pillars of rock). Explore and enjoy the birds, plants, and animals that call this region home. October is a great time to visit Utah after the summer crowds and heat. Leader: Matt Bell. Fee: $3,725. With member discount $3,225. Optional Great Basin Extension.


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