Xing Wei, who raises pigeons for lucrative races in China, is shown in Beijing with his favorite bird, Ike. He sells Ike's offspring to wealthy buyers for $15,000.
Credit Louisa Lim / NPR
These pigeons belong to Yang Shibo, who breeds them in an enclosed balcony on the 13th floor of a Beijing apartment building. His best bird cost him $1,000; its descendants have earned him $150,000 in prize money.
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.
Americans Elect, the nationwide effort to launch a credible third-party presidential campaign, has money, media attention and — most importantly — access to the ballot in dozens of states.
What it doesn't have is a candidate for president.
So if it follows its own rules, the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization won't field a presidential candidate alongside President Obama and presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney on Nov. 6, it announced Tuesday.
But the group also left the door open to bending those rules.