It's time to look up for a good cause because the Aussie Bird Count is taking flight on Monday. This year, the challenge is on for Aussies to set a new record and count more than five million birds. By spending just 20 minutes in nature, Aussies can help BirdLife uncover new insights to protect native birdlife. BirdLife's sights are set on learning more about native parrots, with existing data posing concerns for the nation's bright-coloured birds. BirdLife Australia is calling on Aussies to have some feathered-fun by taking part in the Aussie Bird Count from October 17-23. The annual event is designed to gather data to help the organisation track and protect native birds. READ MORE: By participating in this year's count, Aussies can unveil their inner-birder and help BirdLife Australia uncover new information about native parrot species, with existing data indicating concerns for the much-loved, vibrant birds. The Aussie Bird Count is the nation's largest conservation event, and encourages people of all ages to spend just 20 minutes in their favourite outdoor space, counting birds sighted in that period. It's a simple, fun activity that encourages people from all walks of life to take time out, get back to nature and make a difference for conservation efforts. Taking part is easy, as it can be done from anywhere, a suburban backyard, a local park, a patch of forest, down by the beach, or the main street of town. Yearly data collected since the onset of The Count in 2014 has given BirdLife Australia solid insight into how Australian parrots are faring. However, existing data poses questions about the future of vibrant native parrot species, including the Eastern Rosella and the Australian Ringneck. By participating in the Aussie Bird Count, you will not only help BirdLife Australia uncover information about native parrots, but also enable the peak body of birds to learn more about the common species that live where people live. BirdLife Australia's National Public Affairs Manager Sean Dooley said there was an urgent need for new bird data due to inconsistent trends across the nation, particularly among parrots. "In Greater Sydney, the reporting rates of the Eastern Rosella have seen a sharp decline. There are also concerns about the Australian Ringneck, a species showing a steep decline across Greater Perth," he said. However, we've seen an increase in numbers of the Red-rumped Parrot in ACT, and the Australian King-Parrot is also seeing an increase across Melbourne. "Participation in this year's count will enable bird experts to understand more about state-based trends, identify if these trends are continuing for declining species, and help us determine the reasons for the declines." This year, the challenge is on for more than 100,000 Australians to get involved and count more birds than ever before, gathering valuable data, and being involved in new research into native parrots. Taking a count at the same time each year enables BirdLife Australia to have access to a snapshot of how Australian birds are faring, which helps to identify trends over time and gauge the overall health of the environment - think of birds as a barometer of nature. "We'd love to see Aussies of all ages from each and every state and territory get involved. The more people we have counting across the week, the more data we have so we can learn more about how parrots are faring, and to help protect them for future generations," Mr Dooley said. There are also more than $10,000 worth of prizes being given away as part of this year's count. For more information on the Aussie Backyard Bird Count, go to www.aussiebirdcount.org.au.