Fauna Heidiland

Bartgeier im Calfeisental

Aufnahme eines ausgewachsenen Bartgeiers im Calfeisental
Junger Bartgeier bei der Auswilderung

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Bartgeier "Sardona" wurde wieder im Calfeisental gesichtet
The story of "Sardona" and his friends


At the beginning of the 20th century, the bearded vulture was eradicated in the Alpine region when the last bearded vulture was shot in Switzerland 120 years ago. Now he is to settle again in the Northern Alps.

Why Calfeisental?
The Calfeisental, or more precisely the "Eidgenössische Banngebiet Graue Hörner" with its intact wildlife populations and good thermal conditions, offers the best living conditions for bearded vultures, according to the expert team of the Stiftung Pro Bearded Vulture. Great support has also been found internationally for reintroduction into the Swiss Northern Alps.

Between 2010 and 2017, a total of 12 bearded vultures were released into the Calfeisental. Since they are equipped with small transmitters, the path of the animals can be traced. In the first years of life, bearded vultures fly (far) away from their place of birth or release. As adults, they like to come back, especially when food is scarce elsewhere.

For example, the bearded vulture called "Sardona", which was released in 2010, was sighted again in the Calfeisental in 2017.

Features of the Bearded Vulture:

Adult bearded vultures weigh 5-7 kg and have a wingspan of just under 3 meters. Males and females cannot be distinguished externally. The young hatch after about 55 days of breeding and fledge at the age of 3.5-4 months. They become sexually mature after 5 to 7 years.

The red color of the bearded vulture is actually make-up: the feathers are white, but the birds dye them rust-red in iron-rich puddles.

80% of a bearded vulture feeds on bones and for the rest with carrion. He swallows pieces of bone up to 18 cm long, lets larger ones smash on the rocks from a flight height of 60 meters and then eats the splinters. Every day he eats 250-400 g of bone. Its territory is up to 400 square kilometers (20x20 km) in size; in winter it flies even further.

How to spot a bearded vulture:

Keep an eye on the sky during a walk around Vättis or on a hike through the beautiful Calfeisental. Maybe you're lucky. Basically, the bearded vulture lives in areas above the tree line and west of Vätti's village.

If you see a Bearded Vulture, the Pro Bearded Vulture Foundation is looking forward to receiving feedback on their web form


The children's book "De Sardona macht es Fäscht" is about the bearded vulture Sardona and explains the formation of the Alps in a vivid and child-friendly way.


Public Transport

With the Postbus from Bad Ragaz via Vättis to the Gigerwald dam wall, from there it goes on various (hiking) paths on foot then on foot along the lake


It is easier by car, but for the narrow Seestrasse a one-way rule applies every half hour


Responsible for this content UNESCO-Welterbe Tektonikarena Sardona.
This content has been translated automatically.

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