Bird lovers will tramp through an area within 7.5 miles of Temple Square with binoculars and guidebooks Sunday to take part in the Utah Audubon Society's Christmas bird count for the Salt Lake area.

The annual counts provide important information for biologists about numbers and locations of bird species in the United States. Similar counts are held elsewhere in the world."About 10 other Audubon groups in Utah will be out during the week spotting birds in their areas," said Maxine Martz, spokeswoman for the Utah Audubon Society. Anyone interested in participating in the Salt Lake area count can contact Calleen Cox at 943-3564 until Saturday night to be assigned to a team.

The bird count has been carried on nationally around Christmas since 1900. Every year, more than 42,000 bird-census takers participate.