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Hiking with the golden eagle

We went looking for the golden eagle in the Graubünden Alps. To do so, we needed patience, and, above all else, the expert guidance that helped us find the king of the skies.

Claudia Langenegger

In the Canton of Graubünden, decades of research have gone into this bird. We went in search of it with biologist Julia Hatzl from the Swiss Ornithological Institute in Sempach. We were actually lucky enough to spot several eagles, which we captured on film.

A young lady is standing outside in nature. Rocks and fir trees are visible in the background.
Julia Hatzl from the Swiss Ornithological Institute in Sempach is researching juvenile golden eagles in the Graubünden Alps. (Copyright: Claudia Langenegger)

The golden eagle lives in secluded, mountainous areas, where it has enough food and space and is far away from humans – after all, the golden eagle is an extremely shy animal. For a long time, it was prized prey for hunters. When it was eventually made a protected species throughout Switzerland in 1953, there were very few eagles left in the Swiss Alps. Their numbers have since recovered, and Switzerland is now home to approximately 320–350 eagle pairs.

Image of a golden eagle’s head.
After the bearded vulture, the golden eagle is the second laAfter the bearded vulture, the golden eagle is the second largest bird of prey found in Switzerland. (Copyright: Kaspar Kilchenmann/efentwell)

Eight hikes – eight animals: all of this awaits you in Swiss Post’s current hiking brochure. Each route is dedicated to a native animal, including the golden eagle, which will present to you a family hike in the Jura mountains in the Canton of Solothurn. This is because, from the heights of the Jura mountain ridge, you can gaze across the Swiss plateau just like an eagle.

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Claudia Langenegger