Bearded Vulture

      Gypaetus barbatus

      Information

      The Bearded Vulture is the largest bird in the Alps with a wing span of over 2.6 metres. In the past, many myths prevailed about this vulture, which is still evident in the non-scientific names such as “Rossgyr” (horse vulture), “Gemsengeier” (chamois vulture) or “Lämmergeier” (lambs vulture). By the end of the 19th century it was deliberately decimated and finally exterminated in Switzerland for competitive reasons, due to ignorance and because bounties were paid for shooting them. In 1986 an international programme was launched for its reintroduction in the Alps.

      Voice

      Status (in CH)
      rare, local breeder
      Annual cycle
      The bar on the top line indicates during which seasons the species can be observed regularly in Switzerland. There can be great seasonal fluctuations of numbers. The middle bar indicates the typical migration seasons of a species. The bottom bar indicates the period during which the species normally breeds. As a rule it spans the period from egg-laying to fledging of the young.
      Annual cycle
      Annual cycle

      Facts

      Population size in Switzerland (Pairs)
      9 - 15 (2013-2016)
      Migration behaviour
      resident
      Length (cm)
      100-115
      wing span (cm)
      250-280
      Weight (g)
      5000-7000
      Nest site
      crevices
      Food
      carcasses, bones
      Group
      Hawks, Vultures and Eagles
      Habitat
      alpine habitats
      Distribution
      Distribution
      Distribution