Mac & Mike's Pick: Million Dollar Birds

By WEEK Reporter

January 13, 2011 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 4:08 AM CDT

At this unassuming home in Europe, the sign reads "caution! Alarm". What's so valuable inside?

The answer, in a word: pigeons!

Not just any popcorn eating pigeons, mind you.

No, these are more than your Sunday morning squab.

This collection of 218 pigeons in Belgium has sold for $1.8 million.

That's $8200 a bird--but one, Blue Prince, sold for$205,000 alone.

The birds are already on their way to their new home in China.

Heavy bidding by wealthy Chinese buyers also raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars during two recent racing pigeon auctions in Belgium.

As you might have guessed, the sport of pigeon racing has developed a following in China.

During a race, birds are released up to 700-miles from their lofts, and the fastest one to make it back home wins.

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