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CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) — North Carolina residents can make sure the state develops a reputation as being for the birds.

The Great Backyard Bird Count begins Friday across the state and runs through Monday.

Researchers at the National Audubon Society and Cornell University rely on amateur bird spotters to report the number and type of feathered creatures they see in their neighborhood. People can post their reports online at the website www.birdcount.org.

The researchers use the data to learn about bird populations and migration patterns.

North Carolina birders increased their records in 2010, submitting 5,047 checklists compared to 4,764 in 2009. The state finished third among all states for most checklists submitted and sixth among states reporting the most birds.

Charlotte and Durham were among the top ten cities that submitted the most checklists.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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