Got your attention?  I never thought about the possibilities.  I always saw the city as an desert for all the really cool birds.  However, I think this repost from the Nocturnal Flight Calls Listserv can put that to rest.  I think I'll find a tall building some night with a breeze out of the north...

[nfc-l] Empire State Building, 9/25

jacob drucker
Sun, 26 Sep 2010 11:11:45 -0700

Hi all,
As part of a New York State Young Birders Club trip, Lila Fried, Hope and Mary 
Batcheller, Benjamin VanDoren, Ben Goloff, Eamon Corbette and Brendan Fogarty 
went up to the empire state building observatory last night from about 9-11pm. 
Over the course of the two hours, we counted approximately 815 (via clicker 
counter) birds, most of which were passerines, flying SSE or SSW (with a few 
birds flying in the opposite directions) over the building. Most birds were 
relatively high, around the top antenna of the building or higher, but later 
into the night it seemed that birds were flying slightly lower, the lowest at 
eye level from the observatory, with the exception of birds escaping hunting 
peregrines. (See below) At first, birds went by singly or in groups of 2-5, but 
later on, the numbers increased. Our high count was around 12 birds in a loose 
group. Very little circling of the building (as occasionally occurs and as I've 
seen in the past) occurred, as most birds just zoomed by. Occasionally 
vocalizations would be heard, though with all the background noise, ID was 
difficult if not impossible. Though the vast majority of birds were unIDable, a 
handful were, and our list of IDs is as follows:
Canada Goose 9Great Egret 1Heron Sp. (Probable Great Blue) 1Peregrine Falcon 1+ 
(see below)Yellow-billed Cuckoo 3Cuckoo Sp. 4Northern Flicker 3+Downy 
Woodpecker 1+Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1Gray Catbird 20Black-throated Blue 
Warbler 1--well heard and seenRose-breasted Grosbeak 1+Dark-eyed Junco 1+
Another amazing spectacle was the peregrine (perhaps 2 peregrines) that would 
perch on the building, fly out and catch migrants on the wing! We watched about 
15 of these chases, and watched the falcon nail 4 or 5 birds. However, it 
didn't eat them on the wing, or on the building, but after flying out of sight 
with its prey, it would return 5 minutes later to sit and hunt, suggesting that 
it could be stashing its prey somewhere for later consumption. Has anybody 
heard of any falcon behavior like this?
Good Night-birding!
Jacob DruckerManhattan

Scott Laurent
Kansas City, MO

The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
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