To many people, pigeons are rats with wings, but to some, they're the "Ferraris of the bird world." And they've got the price tags to prove it:
To the average observer, they look like ordinary pigeons, caged into a balcony in a high-rise Beijing apartment. But make no mistake. These cooing birds, according to breeder Yang Shibo, are like top-of-the-line sports cars.
"These are the Ferraris of the bird world," he says. "They're the most expensive, and the fastest."
The price of racing pigeons is soaring sky-high, pushed up by wealthy Chinese buyers.
It's the latest market to be inflated by the China Effect — or massive demand from China — which has pushed up commodity prices on everything from Australian iron ore to Brazilian soybeans.
And in China, pigeons can be lucrative. Yang Shibo's best bird, a German pigeon, cost more than $1,000 back in 2001. Its descendants have earned him around $150,000 in prize money.
The highest price ever paid for a racing pigeon in China? $328,000. Now that's definitely something to cluck about.
NPR's Louisa Lim has the story: Link (Photo: Louisa Lim/NPR)