Pigeon enthusiasts across Melbourne have been turning their eyes west, with Pigeon Radio Australia holding its annual auction for the Good Friday Appeal.

The auction has been held for the past three years to raise funds for the Royal Children’s Hospital, and kicked off this year with a donated pigeon from Belgium that sold for $6000.

Ivan Fonti helped care for the bird in Melton, and is now busy preparing more pigeons to auction.

“We’ve had that Belgian bird sold, and now we have the Australian birds being listed,” Mr Fonti said.

“We’ll have three up for auction every two weeks. The first auction of the Belgian bird was a great result for the cause. Six thousand is quite a lot by Australian standards, but internationally you see some birds go for more than $1 million.”

In previous years the auctions have raised up to $12,000, but Mr Fonti said this year the hope was to increase that to $20,000.

It’s a cause close to the heart of the Melton pigeon racing community.

“One of the guys on the radio show with me, his grandson was born with heart problems so he’s been going to the Children’s Hospital for years,” Mr Fonti said.

View the auction at onlinepigeonauctions.pigeonmedia.com.au