What I'm wondering is what were those birds doing in New York in January. Shouldn't they all have flown south for the winter?
Not all birds migrate. I'm in Michigan, and we've got sparrows, finches, hawks, turkey vultures, crows, and even robins that stay here all year around.
As to the plane going down, I caught that on the news when I got back after braving the bitter cold here to get some gas in the Jeep. I'm so glad your friend wasn't on that flight Pink, and especially glad no one got seriously hurt or killed. It could have been a lot worse.