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Bird nerds needed for Backyard Bird Count

AAP logoAAP 3/10/2016 Lisa Robinson

A flock of eagle-eyed bird nerds is preparing to head outdoors to help create a snapshot of Australia's feathered friends.

Armed with their smartphones, birdwatchers will count birds they see on city streets, at the beach and in the bush for the third annual Backyard Bird Count.

BirdLife Australia's Sean Dooley said the growing urban population is having an impact on local birds.

"We actually know more about our endangered species than we do about many of our common species, and in a way it's what happens to the common species that is the best indication of the health of the environment," Mr Dooley told AAP on Monday.

"We're trying to get people who wouldn't normally consider themselves to be bird nerds, bird watchers or scientists to tell us what's happening on their doorstep because we've got an incredible array of birds species in Australia."

More than one million birds were clocked by 42,000 people from each state and territory, including a tourist on Norfolk Island, in last year's count.

The rainbow lorikeet topped the national count and was the most popular bird seen in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

The noisy miner, magpie, sulphur-crested cockatoo and house sparrow filled out the top five spots, while the pesky silver gull came in tenth.

Mr Dooley said the 2016 data will create a clearer picture of the birds in urban spaces, where 90 per cent of Australians live.

"We're starting to see the biggest species diversity in backyards that are in close proximity to the bush or gardens that replicate what the bush is like, not your standard lawn and one tree," he said.

"Once you open your eyes and take that 20 minutes to sit in your backyard it's incredible what you do see and it's a really rewarding experience."

The Aussie Backyard Bird Count will take place during National Bird week, October 17 to 23.

Birdwatchers keen to take part can download a free app, Aussie Bird Count.

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