SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Bird lovers fanned out across San Francisco at dawn on Friday to scour the city during the Golden Gate Audubon Society’s annual bird count.

More than 125 bird counters will search a roughly 15-mile-wide circle that includes Colma’s cemeteries, Land’s End and the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhoods, according to organizers.

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Last year, birders found 187 species living in the area, which ties a previous all-time high.

During that count, volunteers found 1,271 Anna’s hummingbirds, 225 Townsend’s warblers and more red-masked parakeets — 153 — than any other count in the country.

The parakeets are the famed “wild parrots of Telegraph Hill.”

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This is the 120th year of the Audubon Christmas Bird Count, which relies on nearly 80,000 volunteer bird counters in more than 2,600 locations across the Americas, organizers said.

The information collected during the count has been used in more than 300 peer-reviewed ornithological studies, according to organizers.

For example, the journal Science published a study earlier this year that quantified “the decline of nearly three billion North American birds since 1970, primarily as a result of human activities,” organizers said.


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