MONTPELIER (AP) - Vermont bird watchers will be counting birds in Hinesburg and Huntington and in eastern Franklin County this weekend as part of an annual tally.

The National Audubon Christmas Bird Count takes place every year between mid-December and early January.

This year in Vermont birders hope to see snowy owls, which have been spotted in high numbers across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. The owls live in the Arctic, but when their population spikes or lemmings are scarce, young ones fly south.

Birders are expected to head out on Saturday in eastern Franklin County and Hinesburg and Huntington on Saturday.

Many of the state's other bird counts have already taken pla