BirdTrax

Welcome to BirdTrax, a popular Google Gadget with a unique approach to viewing recent eBird data!  With BirdTrax, you can quickly browse bird observations and rarities in your neighborhood, county, or state.

Embed the BirdTrax Gadget on your webpage now!  It’s free, it’s handy, and your webpage visitors will love it!  You can also create your own webpage with your own collection of BirdTrax gadgets.  Read on to learn more!



Information & Guides
Troubleshooting & Help Topics
BirdTrax Development & Copyright


Information & Guides


About BirdTrax

BirdTrax Recent eBird Data Explorer Gadget is a free project, created by active eBirders exclusively for providing all birders with easier access to recent eBird data. Here's a really quick schematic illustrating what you can do with this gadget:

Click for a larger view.
Notice: The checklist and observer views have been discontinued as of 12/6/2014.

Your gadget opens up in one of two tabs: sightings or rarities. In the sightings and rarities tabs, you may click the "+" on the left side to bring up a full-detail observation report. You may click on species and location names to bring up a list of locations at which a species was seen and a list of species for a single location, respectively.
View a demo here


Install BirdTrax on your Webpage

Embedding BirdTrax on your webpage is very simple. Check out the blog post mentioned below for detailed directions and a code generator. All you have to do is tell BirdTrax what you want it to do, grab an embed code, and paste it into your webpage right where you'd like it to appear:

BirdTrax Website Embedder

If you are running a blogger site, go to www.blogger.com. Open "layout". Add a gadget wherever you'd like it. From the list, select HTML/JavaScript. Paste your code in there and save it.

If your blog has narrow sidebars, put the code <div style="margin:0px -10px 0px -10px;"> in front of your pasted code, and then at the very end, type </div>. This will make it so your gadget will fit more easily in your sidebar by extending all the way to both edges of the sidebar.


Install BirdTrax on your Personal Site

You can still use BirdTrax even if you don't own a website. You can create a personal Google Site for free, or use your own iGoogle-like homepage (e.g. igHome). To learn how to create a dashboard of BirdTrax Gadgets in Google Sites, check out this post:
Embed BirdTrax on Google Sites

If you wish to embed BirdTrax on other sites, you may either need to use the code generator described in the section above, or you may need to enter the URL of the gadget. The URL of the BirdTrax gadget is:

https://birdtrax-explorer.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/birdtrax.xml


Customizing Your BirdTrax Gadget

BirdTrax gadget is very flexible. Read through the following list to ensure you have customized your BirdTrax gadget to suit your needs best:
  1. Lat-Lng Point: Set your latitude-longitude point by retrieving it from GPS or going to Google Maps and zooming in on your location. Then right click on the point you wish to select and click, "What's Here?". Copy the coordinates generated in the search bar and paste them into your gadget field. Your point must be in decimal format (e.g. 25.768977,-171.733303)
  2. Coverage Radius (km): If you wish to view sightings within a circular radius of your area, enter a value in kilometers indicating how far out to look for sightings from the point you entered in step 1. This should be a whole number equal to, or less than 50.
  3. Look Back: Select how many days back from today you'd like your gadget to show data for.
  4. Location Name: This is the value that will appear on your gadget's title bar.
  5. County: If your area is comprised of counties, districts, or parishes, you may wish to type in the name of county to generate lists of sightings and rarities in your county. You may also leave this field empty. If so, erase the default value.
  6. State/Province: Enter your state/province here--spell it out. Abbreviations will not always work. If your state/province is not 'taking', go to http://www.avianknowledge.net/ws1.0/ref/subnational1/list?countryCode=US&format=xml. In the url, change "US" to your country's 2-letter postal abbreviation, and find your state's name. Copy and paste the full name into the text box.
  7. Country: Simple enough, select a country. Note that there is no support for countries that do not have provinces.
  8. Range: Specify the area you'd like your gadget to cover. You get three choices, (1) either the area of the radius around your specified lat-lng point, (2) the county you typed in, or (3) the state/province you typed in.
  9. Default View: Specify the tab (sightings or rarities), that you'd like your gadget to automatically open to when it starts up.
  10. Show spuhs? Check to show spuhs (e.g. Blackbird sp., Great Blue Heron (blue form), Hoary/Common Redpoll). Spuhs are hidden by default. Note that you cannot click on spuhs to view species reports.
  11. Show picture? Check this if you'd like to show the round picture in the upper right-hand corner. You may wish to hide this if you are putting this gadget in a narrow space
  12. Hide Navigation Menu? Check this if you don't want to be able to access the sightings or rarities tabs while your gadget is running. Your gadget will simply open to the default view you set in step 9.
  13. Show/hide entered species? This is to indicate, if you enter species in the next step, whether you would like to hide those species from the report, or show them only.
  14. Enter Species Enter species comma-separated. Be careful to spell them correctly, because they won't be excluded/included if they are not spelled the same as in the eBird taxonomy. The maximum length for this list is just over 900 characters, or about 40 species. All species entered here are included in the URL for the gadget, and Google cuts off URL processing at 1000 characters.



Troubleshooting & Help Topics


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. How do I add a scrollbar to my BirdTrax gadget in Google Sites?
    • A. Near the bottom of the gadget preferences/settings page, you need to check the box which asks if you would like to include a scrollbar when content overflows. To get to the gadget preferences/settings page from the main view, you need to find the edit page icon (a pencil in the upper right), then click on the gray box in the following view which represents your gadget of interest, then open up the settings for that gadget (a gear in a toolbar which shows up near the gadget on click).
  • Q. On startup, my gadget is never initializing. My header bar is there, but everything else is blank.
    • A. If you are in county or state mode, you probably entered an unrecognizable county or state name. Spell out your state and county, do not use abbreviations. Double-check your settings and try changing to area and see if you get the same problem. Otherwise if your internet connection is slow or intermittent, it may also not work. If problems persist, please send feedback. You may also want to verify that you are not using Internet Explorer.
  • Q. I'm experiencing a problem with my gadget. What can I do?
    • A. The best thing is to send feedback by contacting the author with your problem. Provide a detailed report of your problem, giving your user preferences at the time.
  • Q. Why doesn't my gadget work in Internet Explorer?
    • A. Just like eBird, BirdTrax does not fully support Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer works fine if you set your gadget to "Area Radius" mode, but if you change the region to county or state, it balks and never executes the code. A standard modern code supported by all browsers except Internet Explorer was used, and no ideal workaround was found for this browser. Internet Explorer tends to run far behind in new technology, and is quickly losing it's fame to Google Chrome, the world's most up-to-date, powerful, and user-friendly browser. We highly recommend downloading Google Chrome. This will fix all your issues with BirdTrax incompatibility and will also give you a much more pleasant internet experience!


    Send Feedback

    Have you found a bug, have a comment, or would just like to say something? Your feedback is absolutely welcome! Email support@birdventurebirding.com, or just feel free to comment at the bottom of this page!



    BirdTrax Development and Copyright


    Terms of Use

    Free access is granted to this gadget from any location by any user. Individuals, societies, and organizations are welcome to use the information in the gadget for private non-profit use or as promotional material for eBird. Any monetized form of the gadget is strictly prohibited.  Source code may not be duplicated without the consent of the author.


    Using BirdTrax Code

    If, for any reason, it is desired to modify or change BirdTrax code to release it in gadget form or some other JavaScript-based application, it is requested that the individual first contact the author.  Please email support@birdventurebirding.com with all requests. Thank you!

    58 comments:

    1. Zachary,
      I've been using the Recent Sightings gadget for more than a year and have found it real useful, but when I saw the County feature in BirdTrax I immediately installed to my homepage instead.

      Now I have discovered one strange thing (maybe it's a setting that I am missing). I am in New York City and have chosen a GPS location in Central Park (40.779372,-73.968995) and use a 20km radius to include locations in Brooklyn and Queens. In rarities I then get the now visiting Ruff at Jamaica Bay East Pond. If I click on the plus sign for an observation by a person to see what else they observed I don't get the checklist for that person but instead the checklist of the most recent person who also had the Ruff. Is that meant to be like that or is something going wrong.

      Anders Peltomaa

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      Replies
      1. Anders,

        Great catch! I fixed this bug and it shouldn't bother you after your gadget updates again, for sure within 24 hours. With the update, the observer names and checklists in the popup box will correspond with the plus that you clicked.

        Again, thanks for the specific details and quality feedback! It is appreciated very much.

        -Zachary

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      2. Zachary,
        It's already updated and now it's gives me the right person's checklist. Now that's fastest bug fix turnaround time I've ever seen!-)
        cheers,
        Anders

        Delete
    2. Zachary,
      As you know, we found your Recent Sightings gadget very useful. The Bird Trax gadget is far better and really easy to configure for our property. You can view it on our weblog at http://wmrcp.blogspot.com/

      Thanks again for a great gadget!

      James

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      Replies
      1. James,
        Great application of this gadget--glad you found it so useful!
        Zachary

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    3. Zach, this is a cool tool. I seem to be having trouble with LA county checklists. I can view sightings but not rarities or checklists. Dp you have an email that I can share a gadget with you or send you a screen shot of the setting?

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Elias,

        If you've run through the "Customizing BirdTrax Gadget", and haven't been able to find a solution to your issue, feel free to email me at support@birdventurebirding.com. It's no problem! Send me a screen shot of the settings, and I'll take a look at it.

        -Zachary

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    4. We'd love to use BirdTrax on our webiste here at Long Pt, Ontario but the area radius parameter (set at 50 km.) brings up no sightings based on our Lat/Long. The county parameter works fine but the fact that almost 50% of our visitors are using Internet Explorer means that half of them can't see any results.

      too bad

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      Replies
      1. Fixed. Changed the coordinates to a mainalnd site and it works. works in Explorer too. Great. Thank you.

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      2. Glad you got it working Ron! Note that only the sightings tab works in IE, not Rarities and Checklists. I checked it out, and it sure found a great place in your website!

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    5. Zachary - Thanks for the great tools! I am using both and noticing a problem where not all sightings from a checklist are shown on a gadget. And these are not species that are excluded using the set up tool. It seems kind of random. Some checklists appear complete others will only list maybe 1 or 3 species from the list. Any idea what is going? I can see in BirdTrax that I can select just the location which will list the complete checklists but I'd still like to see this in the main sightings list. I'm playing around w/ embedding BirdTrax in a web site which looks good - just need to do a bit more work on that. thanks! Charles.

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Charles,

        I am not sure exactly what you're asking. There is no feature that displays all sightings from a particular checklist. In the "Checklists" tab, you can sort checklists by observer and location by clicking on the name, respectively. Could you clarify what view/click sequence you did to produce your issue? Also, can you explain what you mean by putting the functionality to select just the location which will list the complete checklists in the main sightings list? It is somewhat challenging to merge checklist functionality into the sightings tabs, especially since checklist data must first be downloaded. Thanks, Zachary. (you can also email me at support@birdventurebirding.com)

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    6. Hi Zachary,

      Thanks for producing this great gadget. We have embedded it in two of our naturalist club websites (Woodstock Field Naturalists' and Ottawa Field Naturalists'). We have a problem with it in Ottawa, Ontario. We would like to report on a 50km radius circle around the peace tower (the Ottawa birding region). When we set this up, we get all of the rarities and checklists from the stipulated area but under the sightings tab, only the Ontario birds show up. We have to put Ontario under the state category as it is a required field. Is there a way around this? We would like the Quebec sightings within the circle to also show up. Perhaps removing the state as a mandatory field would get around this problem? This will be an issue for any area that crosses state borders. Thanks again!

      Jeff Skevington

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      Replies
      1. Jeff,

        Nice hearing from you! I bird Woodstock area occasionally as well, and found your site particularly helpful. I don't understand this problem--it should be working, since the API used to request sightings in this area will cover the specified radius regardless of provincial borders. I double-checked this issue, however, and only the sightings API does not cover both provinces--the rarities API does. Therefore this appears to be a glitch with the API itself. Perhaps I'll contact team eBird about this, but I can't guarantee any quick fix since the issue isn't on my part. Thanks for mentioning this!

        Zachary DeBruine

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    7. Thanks for your quick response Zachary. I have run into another weird thing today. If you have a look at the Ottawa club web site (http://www.ofnc.ca/breports.php) you will see that today I saw 20 species at Constance Bay. 18 of these appear under the sightings tab. One (a Cave Swallow!) appears under the rare birds tab. 1 is missing - this is 3 Cackling Geese that can be seen if you look at complete list under the checklists tab. These are also missed from the Notable Ontario ebird sightings which makes me think this is another API issue (perhaps because this is a recent split and hasn't been dealt with properly yet??). The Cacklers were not marked as rare birds during field entry using BirdLog NA but they were flagged and I had to validate them (I am the regional ebird editor for Ottawa area). All a bit odd. Any insights you can give are welcomed. If you think it is an API issue, I will write to the ebird staff. Thanks again for a great app! Jeff Skevington

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      Replies
      1. Jeff,

        Sorry for the belated response. Team eBird is investigating this issue and the one in the previous thread. They do indeed appear to be issues with the APIs. Let me know if you notice any more oddities or if these two issues persist.

        Zachary

        Delete
    8. Hi Zachary,

      Another inquiry from Ottawa! I love the gadget on the Ottawa Field-Naturalists' website and want to put it on my own blog (I use WordPress) using the same 50km radius circle around the Peace Tower. However, when I copy and paste the code into either the sidebar area or a blog post, the code disappears when I hit "save". I tried it on my old LiveJournal blog and the same thing happens - the code disappears when I hit save, and nothing shows up. FYI, I am using FireFox.

      I also notice in my preview that there are two scroll bars on the right-hand side of the widget (instead of just one like in the examples below).

      Any idea what I'm doing wrong?

      Thanks!

      Gillian Mastromatteo

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Gillian,

        Ottawa has been a bit challenging, but I think the answer to your question is easy :)

        WordPress doesn't support Google gadgets. I don't know of a single WordPress user that has successfully installed this gadget. Normal websites and Blogger will support it, though. I don't know about LiveJournal.

        The preview thing is just with that preview, nothing else. It only shows up because the preview is set to be a small window, so when that window overflows, a second scrollbar appears in addition to the normal scrollbar. If I'm thinking of the right preview?

        Sorry!

        Let me know if you have any further questions!
        Zachary

        Delete
      2. Gillian

        I had the same issue but found a solution as follows:

        Paste the code into the Wordpress test window. Then save the page or post from the text window. If you save the page or post from the visual window, the code will disappear.

        Hope this works for you as it did for me.

        Ken

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      3. Ken, thanks so much for sharing this awesome solution! I am sure many others will greatly appreciate your insight!! Zachary

        Delete
    9. Thanks Zachary. I am using it on my blog and find it really handy for keeping tabs on what is around. I am going to keep an eye out for any other users in nearby areas.

      Quite a lot of detailed info packed into that little window. Great design. Thanks so much.

      ReplyDelete
    10. Clicking a species name causes the gadget to show only sightings for that species, which is fine, but other than refreshing the whole webpage, is there a way to return to the full view? Similar question when clicking a location.

      ReplyDelete
    11. I love Ebird because if I'm looking for a specific bird, I know what location to search out. Right now this is being downloaded to my Igoogle. I don't have a blog or my own website. Where else can I have this gadget appear right away.

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Try sites.google.com. Starting a personal (private) site should work as well. I may post additional details on this later, especially since iGoogle is going away in November this year.

        Delete
    12. Love BirdTrax but now it is only rendering in Chrome and Safari. I understand the issues with IE but now Firefox won't even render the frame. Any ideas?

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Google is way too loyal to Chrome. On a more technical note, BirdTrax is using a bit of deprecated terminology, and it takes a little bit of redesign to update it (as I understand it, due to different XHR request syntax). I'm not about to work on learning the "new" Google Code, so I hope BirdTrax lasts as long as possible in Chrome. I wish I had time to develop.

        Delete
    13. I'm trying to set up this tool on Blogger - at least until I can get help from our webmaster to host it on our website. In chrome works fine, but if one of our users is on explorer, it won't load. One of the first posts above http://wmrcp.blogspot.com/, it works fine for me when I use explorer, but my own site, sppwildlife.blogspot.com its not working; I have a 3 km radius and area radius employed only as recommended in your notes - any other reason why one is visible and another isn't? Thanks!

      Skot

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Skot, I really don't know what to say. Internet Explorer has always been unpredictable -- never supporting certain Google Gadgets.API* commands (that's why state and country mode don't work), and only sometimes going through on the area radius command. I would recommend waiting until November 1 (the date set for the demise of iGoogle hosting) to see what will happen with google gadgets. There will be changes, and they will most likely influence BirdTrax to some extent. I will almost certainly be putting up a post before then. Sorry! Zachary

        Delete
    14. I'm moving from iGoogle to sites.google.com using Chrome.
      I'm used to having 6 copies of your gadget available. I'm having a problem editing
      the gadget once it's installed. The rollover on the top bar is not giving me an "Edit" choice like it does on iGoogle. My site is:

      https://sites.google.com/site/kensapkowski

      Thanks, Ken

      ReplyDelete
    15. I have set up a site at google and have a couple gadgets working using chrome. The only problem I'm having is that their is no scroll bar in any of my gadget windows. Any idea what may be causing that?

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Nevermind. I found the option to turn on the scroll bar. Thanks.

        Delete
    16. Can we set up BirdTrax to list for a specific account? We have had some discussion of setting up an account for our Bird club Field Trips and this would be a nice way to allow all of use to see the trips.

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. At present there is no way to make BirdTrax an eBird account-specific application. This is rather difficult to develop, but the eBird development horizon is full of ideas to make application-like exploration of personal data possible.

        Delete
    17. The birdtrax widget does not appear to display correctly on ipad/iphone. It shows a never-ending list instead of being constrained by the vertical box dimension. Is there a fix for this?

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      Replies
      1. I haven't tested BirdTrax on these devices very extensively, anybody have a solution? I would think that if other gadgets work for you size-wise, BirdTrax should as well in the same way.

        Delete
    18. I just set up my BirdTrax gadget in google sites, but don't seem to be able to scroll at all. How can I get this functionality? Thank you!

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. To show the scrollbar on content overflow, you need to edit your gadget settings in the gadget preferences box. Simply open up the edit page preview in Google Sites, then click on the gray box representing the gadget of interest, and at the bottom of the gadget preferences box you will see a checkbox which allows you to optionally show a scrollbar on content overflow. Check this box, save the settings, save the page changes, and refresh the view. Hope this helps! Sorry about the very slow response! Zach

        Delete
    19. The automatic species tally seems to count the rows with headers and dates as species. When I copy the data from a BirdTrax table to an Excel Spreadsheet, the total species is 143, while the total given in the gadget header is 156.

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. I'll check to make sure this isn't happening, but did you check how many species you were hiding from the output (thus not included in the species total)? If this is true, I'll fix it in my next update! Thanks!

        Delete
    20. Any plans on producing a gadget that would give you the TOP 100 for a county you select?

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Yes, I've thought about ranking contributors based on sightings and checklists, but how exactly would you define "Top 100"? Remember, BirdTrax uses eBird APIs and therefore can access data submitted only within the last 30 days. Zach

        Delete
    21. I was just using the eBird terminology. Not sure if you can query the server with the same request and list the top birders:

      http://ebird.org/ebird/top100?locInfo.regionType=subnational2&locInfo.regionCode=US-IN-173&year=2013

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Re your comment above, while it is theoretically possible to get the source code for the eBird page and parse it, it's not how BirdTrax operates (requesting eBird API's -- in essence, XML files). I'm not sure igmodules (google gadgets OS) would allow me to work around the same-origin policy by requesting an external http page on my behalf, but I will plan to look into it for future development, since there is a lot more which can be done in the eBird website than just obtaining Top 100 data. Thanks for the suggestion!

        Delete
    22. How do you install BirdTrax on a wordpress site? I guess the format would be a "widget" vs. gadget. Is it possible?

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Please see the answer given by Ken Billington in one of the first comments on this page. There are some quirks with this process.

        Delete
    23. Love this gadget...well done. Noticed that checklists with zero birds (like my fruitless GHOW search tonight are not showing up in checklists. Not a big deal but thought I would mention. Thanks again for making this gadget!
      Cheers

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. You're correct, checklists reporting 0 species will not appear in the list. There is no eBird output of checklists submitted, only of species observed when associated with a checklist ID. BirdTrax sources these species submissions and compiles a list of all checklists from these observation details. Thus, it is unfortunately impossible to detect checklists reporting 0 species using this method.

        Delete
    24. Seems like none of the apps are loading. I have six on this page and only one is loading. http://blog.photosbyat.com/
      Looks like the ones on this page below the comments are not loading either.

      ReplyDelete
    25. Hi,

      I really enjoy this gadget. However, it appears to have stopped working on my site: http://birdingacrossamerica.com. Right now it shows up blank. I had it set up to display the rarities for a particular state. Each state has a page, and there is a birdtrax gadget for the different states on their respective pages.

      Thanks for the help.

      Josh

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Josh, please check out this recent post:

        http://www.birdventurebirding.com/2014/01/temporary-birdtrax-outage.html

        This is your issue, and I'm hoping it is resolved soon!
        Zach

        Delete
    26. Is it possible the BirdTrax in french?

      ReplyDelete
    27. For sure in future developments, yes. International language compatibility is top on the BirdTrax development priorities, but even so it may need to wait until mid summer.

      ReplyDelete
    28. First of all: Thanks for this. It is really nice to use.

      I created some web pages using Wix.com. I wanted to view Checklists for three counties in Northeast Ohio: Cuyahoga, Summit and Geauga. Those are the counties I visit the most. I set up three BirdTrax gadgets to retrieve the Checklists first by default. Wix allowed me to paste the script code into some iFrame HTML apps.

      My Wix pages are here:
      http://likes2gohiking.wix.com/finding-birds

      My problem is that, when any of the pages first opens, they just sit there and initialize. But, if I click on "Sightings" and then "Checklists", the Checklists load almost immediately.

      What is going on?
      What other information can I provide?


      Ken Andrews
      Maple Heights, Ohio

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Ken, this is a glitch, unfortunately on my end. I haven't had time to probe the code looking for the issue. Just set the default view to something other than checklists. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, I don't know why. Sorry! Zach

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      2. No problem, Zach. The checklists load so fast, I don't mind setting it to one of the other two by default, and then clicking on the "Checklists" link.

        Ken

        Delete
    29. the height setting seems to be ignored in ios7 Safari. Can this be rectified? as it loads an entire list, making the page extremely tall

      ReplyDelete
    30. Is there a way to set the sort order of the species? I'd like to have them in tax order. I'm working in using this for a dynamic recent sightings board at Anahauc NWR, see the prototype at http://anahuacbirds.blogspot.com/

      ReplyDelete

    Please leave your comment below. If you have a question or issue which may be specific to your situation only, please email support@birdventurebirding.com. Thank you!