Friday, February 03, 2012
Not just for the birds: The best of iReport this week

With the week drawing to a close, it's time to look at some of the best birds stories that landed on the iReport desk.


Feathers ruffled over real-life "Angry Birds"



Thanks to Manila's Linus Escandor we learned about the controversial, if colorful, practice of dyeing baby chicks for quick sale to wide-eyed kids. The practice is not isolated to the Philippines. A quick web image search for "dyed chicks" will surface hundreds of images from all around the world showing the colorful little cluckers in crates, cages, and in the hands of children. "The chicks have to be soaked and sprayed in food color," Escandor said. Unfortunately, when children play with the chicks, they tend to treat them as toys. The baby birds suffer stress and this sometimes leads to death, he said.


Flying glitter, nude protesters at DC gala



Occupy DC sent glitter flying into a crowd of elegantly dressed banquet-goers outside the Capitol Hill Hilton Hotel, where the Alfalfa Club was hosting its annual fete. Armando Gallardo did an amazing job of putting you in the middle of a heated protest involving "glitter bombs," nude protesters, mounted police, and the Washington elite.


Gallardo, who covered the protest as a freelance photojournalist, said, "For someone who has been covering the Occupy DC camp for a while, I was surprised nobody got arrested."


The pigeon lady of New York City



From New York City comes the story of Jewelene, a local woman who rescued a pigeon, named it Petel, and raised it as her pet. It's a great story about love, fate, and overcoming the odds. Freelance photographer Harry Peronius says Jewelene is well-loved by city pigeons, who she meets on Chambers Street in the New York City neighborhood of Tribeca: "Many of them she has a name for. When she arrives to the spot, the pigeons recognize her and fly down to her. I've seen it with my own eyes, amazing!"


Customs Day celebration with fire, alcohol, and drugs



iReporter and freelance photojournalist Syed Yasir Kazmi sent us photos from Karachi, Pakistan, where last week they held a celebration for the World Customs Organization's International Customs Day.


Now hold your breath for this: The celebration included the burning of alcohol, drugs, and other contraband materials seized at the country's customs. The event is based around the idea that "borders divide, customs connect," according to the WCO's website. "There was lots of heat and smoke when they burnt drugs. My reaction was to save myself from that heat but [I took the best photos] I could take," Kazmi said.


Chinatown celebrates the Year of the Dragon



Finally, we'd like to highlight the great submissions we received from the Chinese New Year Parade in New York's Chinatown by Rachel Cauvin, Daniil Sosonkin, and freelance photographer Patrycja Adamowska, whose photo you see above. She tells us it was cold and quite crowded last Saturday, January 29, but that didn't dissuade people from sticking around to enjoy the colorful floats and costumes on display.


Happy Year of the Dragon! Here at the iReport desk, we're going to celebrate the week of the bird.


Let us know in the comments which of these stories was your personal favorite, or tell us about other iReport stories that resonated with you this week.


Do you have a story you want to share? Check out our assignment desk, or submit your own view of the news.

February 4, 2012
Click to view larena's profile

great iReports love the story of Petel

February 5, 2012
Click to view DsANDRsStink's profile

Even Alabama has a ban on selling dyed chicks

February 5, 2012
Click to view SC2Pilot's profile

It's illegal in New York to keep pigeons as pets. Jewelene should be given a fine for doing it.

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